I honestly cannot remember the last time I spent on the beach before today. Whenever it was, I guarantee it wasn't nearly as much fun. There's something magical about grandchildren. Sharing anything with them enhances the experience, bringing it up a level.
My perfect day at the beach before would probably include sitting in the parking lot listening to the waves and watching them roll in. I don't like sand. It makes walking painful and difficult, and gets in any crevice available. I do, however, love the sound the ocean makes as it breaks along the shore.
My iPod has a few different CDs burned onto it that help me enjoy the sounds without the sand, even without leaving Colorado. One has the beach sounds during a storm. You hear the waves as a storm comes in, with rain and then thunder added to the pulsing of the ocean. It's a super nature CD. I have a few others that just have the sound of waves, or waves and seagulls, whales, or whatever sea life is within microphone range.
None of them bring me quite the same level of contentment as ocean sounds and grandchildren, though. There's something quite unique about the sound of a child's laughter coming in with the tide. I love watching their sturdy legs running along the edge of the foamy waves, daring them to douse their legs as they race.
Kites fly overhead. Babies sleep beneath the shelter of makeshift awnings. The newest of those belongs to me—grandchild number three from son number three. Surfers paddle in mediocre waves, proving this is California, while Kate pauses to rest and accidentally falls asleep in the sand, a smile on her not quite three year old face. Cousins come and peek at her and whisper "be quiet" in voices I can't believe she sleeps through. Her good mama pulls a towel over her so she won't sunburn. It's a sweet scene.
Watching my tall son, a father three times over, patiently and with great pleasure dig a huge hole in the sand to fit several children was more fun than digging it myself. Duh. All the children love Ben and Ruth. I can see why. They're fun. And when a couple of the older cousins dug a trench around the side and collapsed their hole (with them still in it) no one got upset. It was that kind of day. Maybe I do like the beach after all.