Unpacking swim trunks, untangling wetsuits, sorting towels, shovels, buckets and seashells. Arranging snack trays, adjusting umbrellas. Begrudging the heat of the sand burning the soles of our feet while snapping photos of their little brown bodies moving steadily, purposely, around new corners of their individual castle creations beneath the shadows of the overlapping palms trees. Tables crowded by wilting fruit and sand speckled sandwiches. Fathers on surfboards floating the surface of an endless blue ocean. New babies smiling, the sight of dry palm frowns swaying, signing sweetly to them as they were sleeping, crying, nursing, learning. Temper tantrums in the showers, brothers taunting brothers in the bamboo huts they sought to claim as their own. Hot wheels and shore rocks in their fists. Plates piled with hot dogs and salsa. Cold beers in plastic cups and boys sneaking sodas from old rusted coolers while exhausted mothers pretend not to notice.
A flash of the fleeting moments defining our summer holiday. Sounds and sights familiar to us as parents now, and children way back then. Old friends and new, their children and dogs anchored on the sands we’ve spent the Fourth of July now for the past 8 years. A joyful mix of mounting chaos and blissful rest. Typical of just about every holiday I can think of.
Me in the old canvas tent, his recent craiglist score I scoffed at seeing in 30 pieces upon our driveway the week before, resembling a vintage termite tarp, proved heaven sent in the peak hours of that blazing July sun. A place of shady respite to nap and feed the babies. A new memory so much like the old ones. Of baby boys I nursed before him, holidays past and memories secured in photos that sit in frames along our hallway so to remember the “good times” that come to define these life long holiday traditions.Some of the best days. The hardest days. The longest days. Of us as a family, making the most of these young hours in the sun, of time and tradition that sit with us far outside of those wooden hall frames in places that mean the most, until the very end.
~ With Thanks Ashley, for these beautiful snapshots.