Saturday, August 23, 2008

Our summer vacation 2008 a.k.a. "My aching back"

For the past 3 summers, we we've gotten to the beach, courtesy of my parents. When the Mac attack was born, (March 2006) my mom was the pre-daycare for the summer months. (She's a teacher.) When Mom and Dad planned a week away, she offered to take the baby with her to hold up her end of the deal. My sister was like, "Effe that." It was hard enough for her to be away from her baby during the working hours, let alone all day AND all night for a week. "If I have to take a week off from work to be mommy day care, I may as well do it at the beach," she thought, and accepted my parent's invitation to vacation with them. When I got wind of this, I was all "Effe. That!" I wanted to be there when Mac ate her first clumps of sand, and I wanted to enjoy a few sand clumps and nosefuls of salt water myself.

Last year, my sister and I were a combined 16 months pregnant during the "family beach vacation." I kind of thought that would give us a pass from all of the lugging, tugging, carting, and carrying. But my sister looked around and saw delays in her mental schedule if she and I were not participating in Sherpa duties. So, because of her, my notions of opting out of manual labor, walking to the beach carrying nothing but my flip flops, and using the growing bean as an excuse were destroyed. When I looked around and saw her resting her 25 lb kid on her 33 week pregnancy bump while carrying a full beach bag that the kid could have fit into on one shoulder, and 2 folding chairs on the other shoulder, I hoisted the cooler onto my shoulder and grabbed the other enormous beach bag and waddled my third trimester self through the sand.

This year, sadly, we were down a grandma at the beach, but with two new babies, we needed additional strollers and gear. It's not the heavy lifting that breaks you. (Though my knees want to make their opinion known that "heavy lifting" doesn't make their lives any easier.) It's the un-natural 45 degree bend you end up keeping your back in for hours when you're dealing with people who are 2 feet tall and who either can't stand up, or can't be trusted not to fall over. I use my knees, I squat, I try for better body mechanics, but that back-straining bend is unrelenting.

But I'll tell you what... back ache, nothing. This week's weather was probably the best week of the year. I don't know what it felt like inland, but out there by the sea, perfection: Hot, sunny, clear, 80 degrees plus, but feeling much cooler with the breeze. The weather was perfect every day. The one storm they threatened didn't materialize except for a few hours of rain at night. My friend the ocean was clear and refreshing. The grands were saviors in terms of keeping us outnumbering the kids. And the kids... Good Lord the kids were just fun and amazing and they really enjoyed each other. While we were away, JB cut his 2 top teeth, finally waved, and grew in ways I can't explain except to say, "right before our eyes." Somehow, he definitely seems like he's about to turn one and I couldn't say that last week.

More stories to come, but it was a wonderful week away. (Hat tip to Nana and Papa)

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