Sunday, May 25, 2014

Galveston or Bust

We took a rebellious family vacation last weekend. Rebellious in that we struggled against the tyranny of school, baseball, field trips, Stanford testing, etc. to take a couple of days at the beach for our family. In the aftermath of a full April and May, and then looking ahead to a summer of (overlapping!) baseball and football, Corbin and I felt confident that our family was due a get-away.

So even in the vice of schedules and expectations, we rebelliously took a few days and escaped to the beach. A generous friend offered us the key to their beachfront home in Galveston (again), and we took off running.

Around midnight Thursday night prior to leaving town, I almost threw in the towel. Packing school lunches for Friday, I began listing to Corbin all the reasons why it wasn't worth it to leave town. He simply smiled and agreed with me that YES, parenting is hard work, and reminded me that YES it would all come together. It was when he said there was absolutely no reason to meal plan for our trip - that we could just wing food and groceries along the way - I was sold.

Basden and I spent Friday and Saturday in San Antonio for a school Honor Choir trip, so Corbin and the other kiddos literally met our bus on the side of I-35 in Salado Saturday evening. We transferred our suitcases from the under-bus storage to the back of our suburban, and we turned off the big freeway onto smaller, two-lane highways leading to the Texas coast. As is our tradition, we clamored onto the beach barefoot even before unloading the car upon arrival. This particular full-moon-lit night we stormed the beach at about 2am. Simply smelling the salty air diminished any burden of making the trek. Regardless of the beach, whether the Florida Coast or the Texas Coast, the sea is the sea. Grand and awesome and spell-binding.

Our first evening there, Bran kept bugging Corbin to check out a near-by inlet he'd seen on a map on his phone. Sure enough, our little neighborhood was just down the street from Galveston state park where fishing was encouraged. Bran caught his first ever Redfish.
Essie has no idea how good she's got it with such a patient, helpful big sis
The seaweed was at first disappointing and a little icky, but the girls figured out how to creatively enjoy it

A day of fishing. Boys re-booting with some down time together doing something they all three love
What a weird-looking fish (and a scary-looking fisherman!) Sheepshead, evidently.
 Corbin waking up early, investing $$ on guide ~ choosing to spend down time with his boys in this sometimes "intense" season of parenting
Pretty good bounty

One of my very favorite things ~ watching the girls play together
Cackling with joy
One morning as we ate breakfast in the house Basden said, "Hurry it up! There's a beach out there and I'm not on it!"
What could be more therapeutic than running sand between your fingers?
In her element
Girls playing in sand together all day- freed up mental space, just the two of them, creative, working with hands. Restful to body & spirit.
What I don't have pictures of:
- Skip Bo tournaments ~ Dad correcting Mom's version of "Skip Bo on steroids"
- Donuts, Daddy's big breakfasts, and sandy picnics
- Playing in the waves with the girls (even when I'd rather be reading). But afterwards convinced that our play time was actually much more fun!

This print hangs there in our physician friend's beach house, and I think it's just the plain truth:
"Once a year... all humans should force their way to the sea and walk humbly into the water... for it will more greatly improve the mind than any treatment devised by any branch of medicine."

And if that's not enough, here's another reason it was worth the effort. These two pictures were taken just two years ago on the same beach. I cannot believe the difference in the kids (especially Hud) in just two years. These days are just passing more and more quickly. 

Thankful for time away - just the six of us - a respite to get us through the end of the school year. Thankful for generous beach home owners. Our last night at dusk found me relaxing in a beach chair, soaking up wind and waves, a little chilly in my fleece with a mug of hot coffee while watching girls play in the sand. With a greatly improved mind and heart.
Until next time...