We are starting our Thursdays close to home and close to our hearts. We are starting at the beach.
The weather has been quite warm here and Alec is still on holiday from work. With Gemma not back to school yet, it means that we have some family time before things get back to a regular schedule for the new year.
Despite living just a quick run from a beautiful spot, my kids are not naturally beach babies. They are fussy about the sand getting into bits. Two of the three whine in the heat while the third just might burst into actual flames if we are not careful with sunscreen and hats. Most important though is that they have never been the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word, fearless. Well, except maybe for the flammable one, but…
I turned a normal beach trip into a slight challenge for our Thursday adventure this week. We went as a family, but we just took our towels, water bottles and sense of adventure. There was no giant bag filled with sand toys. We did not bring a boogie board. The pop-up sun tent and year supply of snack foods stayed home. We were to rely on ourselves and the environment for a few hours of fun. That, as it turned out, was more than enough to have a beautiful time.
I am trying to push my children to face some of their sensory issues. I want them not to be limited by the fact that (at least one of them) screams “There is SAND on the BEACH!” Screams and refuses to walk one step more. I wanted to show them the joys of getting filthy. I don’t expect them to enjoy a suit filled with sand, but I hope for them to tolerate the mess as a completely fair trade off for the joy that the beach can bring.
We swam, we played, Alec and I accepted their many offerings of shell and sand creations. We went out further than they had ever gone before and they just trusted. They trusted us to keep them safe and they trusted their abilities to swim. (It is a very shallow beach with no waves, so they are able to do a lot more than at the beaches that are directly on the sea.) It is amazing to see how much their self confidence has grown lately. There was, however, an audible sigh of relief after showers later that night, but they did it. They got dirty and lived to tell the tale.
They drew their experiences in their journals and recalled the sand and sea with affection.
The most amazing part came a few days later when we took a weekend trip to a friend’s beach house. The kids were faced with an actual ocean facing surf beach and they LOVED it. Danced in and over and through the waves and reluctantly came out pruned a few hours later.
One of my main goals with this year long project of Thursdays is to help my twins (and Gemma when she is free to join us, like she was for this adventure!) to grow as little people while having fun.