It was August 2018, and my tiny family decided to start a new tradition. I say “tiny” because my first-born daughter, Charlotte was only eight weeks old when we decided to do our first family beach day at Bethany Beach in Delaware.
A little over two hours from our home, our plan was to leave around 7 a.m., enjoy the beach for the day and then head home by 4 p.m. We’d arrive home in time for dinner.
We could still see our home when Charlotte spit up all over herself. A quick run back inside, wardrobe change, and we were back on the road. Naturally, we thought that might be a terrible omen and momentarily considered throwing in the (beach) towel. However, we pressed on. Boy I’m glad we did.
Preoccupied with packing a tent for sufficient shade, diaper bag, nursing pillow, cooler, beach chairs, stroller and extra clothes for all three of us, I forgot to bring my sunglasses. Thankfully, my husband had an extra pair stashed in our car.
Shockingly, I remember relaxing and reading more during this beach day than others in the past four years. There’s something beautiful about being new parents and not overthinking what you do or don’t do. So much has changed since the pandemic for all of us, but I hope we can all still find moments of spontaneity and pure joy.
Beach day continued in August 2019. We returned not only to Bethany Beach, but also went to The Penguin — an adorable restaurant — for lunch again. This year, Charlotte waved at every single waiter, waitress and patron of the restaurant.
The previous year, Charlotte shrieked when we dipped her toes in the water. However, in 2019, she kept running into the waves laughing.
Our family hoped to continue the tradition in 2020, but it was the first summer of the Covid-19 pandemic. It wasn’t the most ideal summer for travel.
In 2021, we still didn’t feel the greatest about using public restrooms now with two young kids. Even during a non-pandemic timeframe navigating restrooms with little ones doesn’t sound appealing either.
Alas, beach day will return this year with a slight twist. My Mother’s Day gift from my husband was my own solo beach day. I’m thrilled with the idea of not needing a packing list, being on my own schedule and reading all day while listening to the waves. However, I’ll probably miss my family, especially during my visit to The Penguin. I’ll probably head home early…