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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Bryant


Updated: May 18, 2020

What makes the ocean so therapeutic anyway? Not sure, yet I love it! For several years I've missed this therapy and I blame my babies for that. (truth) This weekend, however, crossed over a bittersweet transition. My time was mostly my own on this weekend vacay with my family of four and another family of five that we are good friends with. I was able to eat when I wanted, drink what and when I wanted, and sit down when I wanted. My boys are 3 and 6.5 now and so for the very first time a family "trip" was more like an actual vacation that it has been in 7 plus years.  That isn't a typo, 7 plus years because preggo trips to the beach aren't exactly vacay either, right?? 

I remember Tucker (my oldest's) first trip to the beach at 3 months old. Walking him up and down strange, empty, sea salty, dark streets at 3am in efforts to get him to stop crying and, for all things holy, just SLEEP! Leaving him wtih family while we got a dinner out and the way he screamed the etnire time we were gone. My sweet sister in law and mother rocked him the whole time while we sat a restaurant sipping wine and eating glorious food. Alone. Quietly. They were both completely frazzled when we got back and they lied (terribly) about how he did for them. 

Everyone was worn out at the end of that so-called vacation. They were called trips from then on......

Pregnant again when Tucker was almost 3 so the baby phase while traveling started all over again when we were so close to uttering the word vacation again.  I did love the nap times with toddlers on a lazy afternoon at the beach. "I'll just lie with him until he falls asleep." 3 hours later..... Yet those moments had to be timed just right so I remember the perfectly timed moments blissfully. 

My youngest son, Sam, is now 3. He is potty trained, no longer takes naps, plays well with other kids, etc. He's part of the group and as long as the brothers don't wrestle each other to death, they just don't need me as much. 

And, there it is, the bittersweet gut punch. They just don't need me as much. Don't get me wrong, it's thrilling. As I sit here while they do their own things and make their own jokes and get their own snacks and play games with other kids of their own choosing. I am able to have a moment of exhale and reflection while sitting at a table with the porch doors open of our rented ocean front home, seeing and hearing the waves crashing at the stairs of the home's deck. My heart fills with love and appreciation for the beach and I realize how much I've missed it. Oh I've seen it and heard it yet I missed it. So very much. 

My family will come here for many more years as a family and while they will drift further and further from me physically, I know that they will also drift further and further back to me if the ocean's therapy works the way I know it can. There will be conversations admist the waves, there will be cocktails shared in the circle of chairs on the beach, new friends and, Lord help me, girlfriends will join our circle. 

In the meantime, my love and adoration for these boys will continue to grow. My husband and I will continue to vacation (yes I said the word vacation) will continue to share beach therapy with these boys who are growing quicker than quick. For now, today, it's mandatory morning hugs and reading nighttime snuggles. And that's exactly where I want to be. 

You Mommas out there still taking family trips, I promise you with all my heart that your vacations will return. Enjoy those 3am walks and take advantage of family help. Come to the beach often for therapy even when it's hard. Cheapest therapy I know of!!!!

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