Every evening, sometime after dinner, but before bedtime, my soon to be four-year-old asks, “What was the best part of today?” He goes first, and then he asks me, then his daddy and then glances at his six month-old sister who gives him a toothless grin. It has turned out to be quite a nice family tradition that I need to thank Dora the Explorer for because at the end of her show, she asks that question.
Today, I can answer that question before I eat my 100-calorie bagel thin with light cream cheese. I woke up on my own at 6:50 am, while on vacation at Myrtle Beach. The condo was eerily quiet as I quickly washed my face, brushed my teeth and ran a brush through my hair. Then armed with my little Nikon Coolpix, I headed to the beach, a block away. The sun was coming up over the water as I kicked off my sandals and made a beeline for the water, to feel it wash over my feet. All seems right with my world right now. The hour I spent on the beach alone walking, taking pictures and looking for shells has refreshed me.
For one hour I didn’t need to focus on what needs to be done at home when we return from vacation, the emails I will need to catch up on for work, the fact that just a few months ago I was diagnosed with early stages of heart disease, and that at the age of 60, my mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s. While these are real, so is what I experienced this morning. I saw the sun rise over the ocean, a baby bird running up the sand, waves gently crashing and an elderly couple holding hands as they walked along the beach. I feel good today and know that I can tackle what lies ahead.
Now that I am refreshed, I am ready to head back to the condo and get the family up for the last day of our vacation. Don’t get me wrong; there will be other great moments today. I can’t wait to watch Tyler catch a football in the surf and I can’t wait to watch Molly smile as her toes feel the water and her hands reach out to touch the sand.
Jennifer Howe lives in Huntersville, NC with her husband, Todd, and two children, Tyler (3 ½ ) and Molly (6 months). She is a member of LakeNormanMommies and is the Director of Communications at a local independent school in Charlotte, NC.
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