All summer, we’ve been saying that we wanted to take Annie to the beach. Then suddenly, it was August and we hadn’t gone. I felt bad; we live so close to the beach it practically requires effort to not go. When I was a kid it felt like we went to the beach every summer day, and part of the reason Mike and I moved to the suburbs was to give Annie the same experiences I’d had growing up.

But, I didn’t feel bad enough to want to go.

My mom and Mike, however, decided they were going to take Annie. I thought that sounded great! I could lay on my couch with the air conditioning blasting and catch up on Bunheads while they got hot and sandy. But they insisted I go along with them. They said it would be nice.

We went to the beach I went to as a kid. It was exactly how I remembered it (sandy).

Mike walked Annie down to the water to fill up their buckets. Annie was not a fan of the ocean. No matter.

to the edge

She was a fan of using her shovel…

dig it

…cleaning off rocks…

cleaning rocks

…splashing in her bucket…

happy

…and pointing at birds.

look!

(a bird)

(a bird)

At one point Annie and I watched a girl climb aboard a surfboard. I remembered the times Jackie and I went to the beach (every single weekend). One summer I talked Jackie and Dana into taking surfing lessons with me. We spent many early Saturday mornings in the ocean, sitting on our boards yards away from the shore, talking and laughing.

cove surfing

Eventually one of us would ride a wave in, but we always met back in the ocean. That very same ocean.

people watching

The beach was nice. I wished she was there.