Whatever happened to when the children were young? Gone are the days when going out to the beach was an exciting venture, when the anticipation of the day laid ahead, the picnic preparation, the bags weighed down with the ‘just in case’. Buckets, spades, body boards, towels, spare clothes and more spare clothes. Piling it all into the car and then off we go. After finally finding a parking space, unloading half your house contents out of the car you and the children, much to their disgust, piled up with stuff, that then needs to be walked the two mile trek onto the beach, up the beach and back again looking for a spot that is suitable to pitch up on. So out comes the cosies and towels ready for the towel dance to get clothes off without flashing to the world. Off drags the body board down the beach to the water, spades at the ready to dig to the centre of the earth, then they are gone. Time for me to settle into the latest trashy mag to read about the celebs latest diet. The children popping up and down the beach throughout the day, in and out the water, the compulsory sand car built, sat in, then destroyed much to the makers annoyance, sand sandwiches, sticky lollies, and the odd crab trapped in the bucket. After a whole day of free entertainment, children getting tired, gathering up sandy soggy towels, empty packets then traipsing it all back to the car stopping on the way to wash sand off feet. All piling in the car, probably with someone in tears because they are sandy, sticky and worn out, and that’s just me! Thinking how have I got the energy to go home and cook tea?
This is all when they are little, now it’s a different story. I am the only one excited about going to the beach, having to prize the xbox controller out of a reluctant teenagers hand, that has only said yes to coming with you because he knows you will be in a mood if they don’t come. Me pacing up and down waiting to go, finally get out the door passed lunch time. Me wanting to go the beach that we had visit when they were young, but not quite remembering how to get there, so spending the next hour an half finding it, with the teenager of cause knowing best how to get there, huffing and rolling eyes at his sad mother getting upset because she is getting frustrated at not finding the place she had been waiting for a break in the weather to go too. When finally arriving at destination, and stopping off at the garage to pickup packet sandwiches, no homemade picnic now a days. I have often thought when you could have done with having money when the children are young you never seem to have it, when the children are grown up you have the money, but looking back even though you don’t think it at the time you are more creative and productive making up hampers of food to save money, which is more fun I suppose. So at destination take the one bag out of the car, not weighed down any more, the know it all teenager knows a better way to get to the beach. So off we trek the long way down to the beach, beautiful walk, damn he was right. Finally getting to the beach, getting blanket down, sit eat packet food, look out to sea in silence, me saying, aren’t you getting your swimmers on? Na, aren’t you going to go climbing the rocks then? Na. Sit there a bit longer in silence then a big black cloud comes over, look at each other, shall we go then. Yep, off we march up to the car and home.
I used to long for the days when the children were grown up, at the time I thought I hated them being little and dependant, wishing their childhood away, I am not saying it is any worst or better now, just different, but actually then was fun, shame it has taken me till now to appreciate it.