Posted by Fitz

I learned a lot about myself over the long, glorious weekend.  We spent most of our time at a nearby beach, playing in the sand, jumping the waves, sucking in the stomach, and reveling in seeing the ocean through The Bean’s eyes.  I often found myself playing the role of the anxious parent, watching to make sure that Beanie stayed ultra safe.  The girl had her hand held whenever she was in a millimeter of water, was under constant surveillance to make sure the sand didn’t go into her mouth, and was lubed up in the thickest layer of sunscreen a baby ever did see.  We had fun – safe fun – at the beach, and it was one of the greatest weekends we’ve had together as a family.

In addition to the fun we had, the experience was a reminder of how much things have changed in my life.  Going to the beach has always been my favorite thing: plunked down in a comfy chair with a little bikini and a big book, I logged countless hours in the sun with minimal SPF.  I didn’t think of bringing healthy snacks or big beach hats; instead, my goals were to be as tan and relaxed as possible at the end of the day so I could go out with my friends.  Life was so simple, and absolutely beautiful in its simplicity.  I loved it.

You moms out there know that I didn’t get much reading done this weekend, and I now know better about slathering on the SPF, um, O (and wearing a tiny bikini, for that matter).  Things have changed: I’ve grown up, and I’m a mom now.  It’s my job to be the entertainer at the beach, not the entertained…and while I love that too, it’s certainly different.   

It’s hard sometimes to get that reality check.  To remember that you’re not that carefree girl anymore, but a woman with a child of her own.  To know better than to be reckless with your skin and your safety, and to be on high alert to make sure those around you are safe.  I miss that old, young girl sometimes…I longed for her this weekend. 

To quench my thirst for days gone by, I went out in the yard during naptime and settled into a chaise, ready to spend a couple of hours lost in a book and the sun.  After about 20 minutes, I was bored out of my mind.  I started planning menus, thinking of The Bean, and making a list of To Do’s in my hot little head.  After 30 minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore – I headed inside with a resolve to get things done so I could enjoy my time with The Bean when she woke up, abandoning my chair and my book for some other young girl who has the time and inclination to spend her afternoon in total relaxation mode.   Because, now, I’m a wife and a mom, and my definition of what makes a great weekend has changed.   And that’s a reality check that I was most grateful to receive.