Beach Vacation Happened Here

We are back. Round trip airfare, round trip car rides, 7 days on the beach and 1943589923 pieces of luggage later… I’m still finding mysterious sand on the floor of our bedroom.

Beach Baby

I stole these photos from facebook because I am being lazy. The baby on the beach = the baby in the front pack. Front facing our inside facing was the question of each trip out. Well, is he going to nap? Maybe. When we didn’t think he would, he did.

Kamel Beach Baby

And when we thought for sure he would… well…

Beach Baby 2

He wanted to see the world.

I spent the majority of the time being tired. Really tired. It feels weird to be so tired while being on vacation at the same time. And there were times, real and true times, that I wished the baby would just go away. I didn’t want to have to deal with his frustrations or his crying or his need to be held holdmenowgoddamnit! I just wanted to hang out and play rummy cube or catan or freaking plants v zombies 2. I wanted to walk on the beach without bringing a diaper bag and a front back, and making sure we had extra clothes JUST IN CASE, do we have to turn back now? Do you think he is hungry? Maybe he will sleep and we can walk a little bit further… Sometimes I wanted it to be how it was, before everything changed. Before I was a grown up. When it was just about jumping waves and staying out in the ocean until I was nearly frozen. Blowing up floaty toys and riding them out into the surf. Having a bath at the end of the day with a heated towel, two breakfasts because I was up with the sun and running out to the ocean with the dog on the leash and then back again.

Lauren Haystack

But it will never be like that again.

Beach Dupuis

In every day life most things feel the same, but when you revisit childhood hot spots, when you actually live out the vacations you only talked about as a kid (One day, Lauren, we’ll come here with your husband and your child(ren) and we’ll play on the beach and play rummy cube and eat seven layer cookies just like this.), when you plan something a year in advance and then here it is! And there it went! That’s when reality hits you. That’s when reality hits me. And I cry when I hear my parent’s horn honking goodbye as they drove out on our last day at the beach house.

suck thumb

It happened. We beached. We beached as family and extended family. As parent to an infant and parent to an adult and grandparent and husband and wife and child and infant and and and. We smore’d and we walked and we barefooted. We took turns comforting the baby. We checked for budding new teeth (none really), we marveled at the amount of formula consumed, I watched as the life I had as the child to my parents moved further and further away from the present.

It isn’t how it used to be. The beach is not the same, it changes daily and yearly. The coast transforms itself again and again and again. We are all here and then some and things are different.

Baby Bonfire

But it is good, it is how it should be. My parents are approaching retirement, Kamel and I are pushing forward (always forward, against mountains sometimes) with our own family, our own adventures. The baby gives great cuddles. He is increasingly sleeping nearly all through the night. There were steaks and bratwurst, beer and snacks, sand dollars and sunscreen.

We will talk about how my mom dropped a marshmallow into the fire, we will compare how my parents chop wood. It will forever and ever be the baby’s first trip to the beach. Kamel’s first trip to the Oregon Coast. We did what my parents and I have talked about since before I was 9, 10, 11, 12 plus. We rented a house for a week with my husband and baby and it happened just like we said it would. A fire on the patio, board games at the kitchen table. There is still sand in one pocket of my jacket to prove it.

23 thoughts on “Beach Vacation Happened Here”

  1. Great post. It encompasses so many things I feel about my childhood, adulthood while childless and now being a parent. I know just how you feel.

      1. I’ve been thinking about this comment all day… nothing happens like we think it will. The things we plan, the things that happen that we never anticipated – none of it. And sometimes I find myself mourning the imaginary stuff – the stuff that I dreamed about or watched happen like little movies in my head, when they don’t happen like that it sucks. But then sometimes things happen better than I could have ever imagined. Sometimes things happen that I didn’t imagine at all. Life is a bundle of all that stuff mixed up and sloshed together. And it sits on our chests sometimes.

        I haven’t lost anyone really significant to me, yet. So I don’t know what that is like. And I am really sorry that stuff doesn’t even have the possibility of happening like you imagined because you lost your dad. It is bottom line unfair.

  2. Oh lady. This whole post made me feel happy and sad and nostalgic in the present and nostalgia for the future and so very much love for you. Growing up is hard and amazing. I’m so glad I know you, and I’m so glad you wrote this beautiful piece of life.

  3. Oh but it sounds (and looks) so idyllic from here… What are sand dollars? Is that the animal that’s related to a star fish or some kind of candy?
    And I am curious, is the water warm?

    1. Sand dollars are an animal! A little round creature and when they die their shells wash up on the shore. They are fun to collect. πŸ™‚ And the water is cold! Not warm at all. But it was still really fun to swim in as a kid and really fun to run around in as a grown up. The Northwest is my favorite place ever ever ever.

  4. Oh, so much love for this. One of the things I’m most excited about doing with Frances is a yearly extended family vacation. I have such great memories of these as a kid. This year we did a week on the lake in Maine with Jami’s family and next year I’m hoping we do a week on the beach in Virginia with mine. Being a kid, being surrounded by family, being on vacation – staying up late, eating ice cream, splashing in the ocean, those are some of my happiest childhood memories. It won’t be the same of course. I find myself now on the other side, figuring out the logistics. Where will we go? What will we eat? Have I packed the sand toys, the wipes, the towels, etc, etc? But I’m excited for Frances to get to have those memories too, and I have to say that the adult ones are pretty good too, even if it’s not the same. You are so right, “it will never be like that again”, but it is still great.

  5. Beautiful post. I have a similar place I’ve gone to with my family since I was 3 and now that I’m married, the feel is so different but still the same. I get more respect as a married lady, but I also feel older than all my cousins and siblings who are still single and staying out all night. I can only imagine how it will change once I have a baby. Thanks for putting this into words, it must have been challenging.

  6. I love that you guys have had that plan for so long! I wonder what kind of vacations we’ll go on with Chads parents and our someday baby. I always tell Chad I want to find places we go to every year and make traditions so our kids have those solid memories as they grow up and get to tell the stories of how “every Winter we used to…..” and “every Summer we….”. And i want a regular, annual friends trip as well. They may not go exactly how I envision them, but memories will be made and laughs remembered and thats all that matters πŸ™‚

  7. Aww, I can’t wait until we can take vacations with our little boy and my parents. They are divorced, so it will be with my dad or my mom and her fiance, who I really like. I am 30 weeks pregnant right now on a vacation planned for our third anniversary and turned into a “babymoon” at a resort that does not allow children but is very friendly towards bumps, and we are enjoying not having him out here with us quite yet.

      1. It is the lillebaby! We also have the ergo but this is my favorite carrier ever ever ever. It is soooo comfortable and so easy to put on. The Ergo was WAY hard and Gabe could only face in. With the lillebaby he can face out, in, on back, and on my side. Love love love love love.

  8. Can I just say thank you so, so much for saying that there were times you wished the baby would go away? I feel like that sometimes, and my little girl isn’t even here yet!

    It’s such a complicated territory to navigate, this transition into parenthood. Already just with pregnancy I have run into so many things I “should” be feeling that I just…don’t. Or, *gasp* things I “shouldn’t” feel that I absolutely do. I am still a whole person, and being a whole person is still contrary and complex. That doesn’t stop just because I am knocked up.

    I so appreciate your candor.

    1. It is complicated. And I didn’t feel the warm and fuzzies during pregnancy. For me, things got way better once the baby appeared, but I didn’t LOVE LOVE LOVE him right off the bate. I like him a lot, he grows on me. I am looking forward to hearing about your journey.

  9. I love this so much. It is really interesting how life changes… you know? It is good and it is hard all at the same time. I can’t really wrap my head around it – but I try to focus on the good instead of the hard as much as possible. This vacation sounds amazing – baby always being the wrong way in the front carrier and all. πŸ˜‰ xoxo

  10. This is all so true. It’s so bittersweet, realising you will never be the child again. Holidays, particularly, bring into focus just how different life is with a baby. There’s so little time to just do nothing and relax, which is basically what holidays are for, right? Sometimes being away seems like harder work than just being at home.

    I miss being the kid. I miss the times when my mum and dad were just that, and not grandma and grandpa. I find myself crying, all too often, that ill never be young like that again, never have time and freedom stretching out like that again. I’m the parent, from now on in, and it’s hard work and scary and tiring. So I totally get your feeling of wanting the baby to go away – bravely confessed, but oh so true, for me at least.

    But it gets easier as they get older, I think. Holidays particularly. And having been through this full on infant stage, I think we’ll learn to appreciate the new freedoms that their growing up offers (while at the same time mourning the little babies they no longer are, I’m sure – oh, the ironies of parenting! They are endless and ridiculous). And, ultimately, having children lets you be child-like again, which is lovely. Not so much in the baby stage, but as they get older you get to play again, see the world through their eyes, and have a valid excuse for indulging in every childish silliness possible. Which is pretty cool.

    Sorry for the mega comment! Got rather carried away there! Anyway, loved this post – really touched a familiar place in me.

  11. Oh yes, the vacation that doesn’t feel like a vacation with an infant. We had that over the Christmas holidays with flu thrown in for fun. I will easily admit that I was not a fan of the baby stage…or crawling…crawling can bite me. But toddlers are so lovely! They play and laugh and ask for things and can understand requests and follow directions! Its like magic! There are also tantrums and fewer naps but hell, I’ll take understands simple directions over screaming baby who can’t tell me he wants a cracker and not milk any day.

  12. Here is my lists of the 10 best parts of the week.
    1. The campfire at night with marshmallow’s. I thought I would laugh my ass off when mom dropped her perfect one into the fire as we all told her to be careful.
    2. Holding Gabe outside under the eves of the house while it rained. He is the best cuddle-bug in the world.
    3. Walking the beach in the morning
    4. Holding Gabe when he hangs on and starts to suck on your shoulder.
    5. Hearing you all get up at 4:00 a.m. for the feeding.( O.K. it may not have been the best part but it made me laugh).
    6. Quietly getting up in the morning to make coffee on the first morning and seeing you sitting in the rocking chair with Gabe. You are a wonderful mother.
    7. You and me in the back seat with Gabe as he had a total melt down on the way back from the Cheese factory. All we could do was laugh. (Poor guy)
    8. Paying games. It so reminded me of when you were little and you would watch us from the loft at the Sandpiper.
    9. Cooking for you and Kamel. That was fun. Especially breakfast.
    10. Taking a chance at fulfilling a family tradition and building a new one.

    love you tons.

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