It’s Memorial Day weekend and all the beaches are officially opening for the summer season. YAY! Well…sort of. I’m excited about summer – it’s been too long a winter. But the beach? Not so excited about that.
We live fifteen minutes away from the beach and we love it during the fall and early spring when it’s not crowded and there’s no reason to go in the water. It’s calming and peaceful. Norrin plays in the big playground and he has a blast. But the Beach during the summer months is a whole different story.
As a kid, I loved going to the beach. I spent hours playing in the water until my skin wrinkled and my lips turned purple while my mother laid on the beach, soaking up the sun. The beach was liberating for me as a kid. My mom, who was usually strict, allowed me a little freedom knowing she was watching from a distance. The beach became the place I saw my mom for the woman she was before becoming a mother. It was a place where she spoke freely, where she reminisced about her youth and spending days at the beach.
As a single girl in my twenties, the beach represented a different kind of freedom. It was a place to go with girlfriends, a place to look at boys. I went with no worries and nothing to weigh me down. I went with my beach towel, my baby oil (yes, I said baby oil) and a good book. Nothing else was needed and nothing else mattered.
As a mom, a trip to the beach is a whole different scenario. A day at the beach can be fun but it isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. And taking kids to the beach takes planning, preparation and patience.
Pros & Cons of taking Kids to the Beach 1 of 7
Click through to see my pros and cons about a family trip to the beach.
Con: The Bathing Suit 2 of 7
Nothing is more of a reminder of how out of shape I am than swim suit shopping. Before I was a mom, I was a cute size four prancing up and down the beach in a string bikini. My bikini days are far behind me. But even if I was a size four now there is no way I'd feel comfortable at the beach with my kid in a skimpy suit. I am the mom of a 7 year old boy with autism/ADHD - I need to be ready to run, I need to be able to move swiftly and with confidence that nothing is going to fall out.
Con: All The Stuff 3 of 7
I remember the days of going to the beach a tote in hand, filled with just my baby oil, towel, a good book and cash to buy to some snacks and maybe a beer. Not these days. A day at the beach takes two or three bags of stuff: the towels and changes of clothes and three different sunscreens. Then I need to pack snacks and sandwiches, a cooler filled with water and juice because buying lunch at the beach for three can be a little pricey.
Pro/Con: The Sand 4 of 7
I can't stand sand when stand gets on me, especially after lathering myself with suntan lotion. In my ideal day at the beach, I'd lay on my sand free blanket with a good book. But my Norrin loves LOVES rolling around in the sand. And once he's completely covered in sand, he'll sit next to me. I'll make an attempt to shake out the blanket. But it's pointless because Norrin will just get sand on me again it's a vicious sand cycle. Norrin's a sensory seeking kid and the sand gives him the sensory input he needs. It's a little messy but it makes him happy and he's so much calmer when we get home.
Pro/Con: The Water 5 of 7
On a hot summer day, there is nothing more refreshing than a swim. Well, actually I don't know how to swim I just stand around in the water. But I don't mind getting in the water, splashing around, jumping in the waves with my kid. And after about 10 15 minutes, I'm done and I want to go sit down and dry up. But Norrin, though seven years old, needs constant supervision. I can't sit by the edge of the water in a chair and watch from a distance. So when we go in the water we stay in for more than I'd like.
Pro: The Sun 6 of 7
I love the sun and after the winter we've had I am ready to soak up the rays. Plus, I am in serious need of a tan.
Pro: The Fun 7 of 7
Yes the beach is a hassle and it's sort of hard to just relax. But Norrin has such a good time, we all do. Some of favorite family memories as a kid were our days at the beach, in ten to fifteen years, I hope Norrin can look back at his childhood and say the same.
How do you feel about the beach?
Read more of Lisa’s writing at AutismWonderland.
images via iStock Photo