Like He Said It Would

Hubbs came home from his ride and said, "I wanna try to take you guys there...there’s a beach...and I’m not 100% sure we can do it, but I wanna try".


So we packed up.  Only what we needed to relax, to eat and to protect ourselves from the sun.


We drove the 10 miles to get there.  Yep, only 10. Talked to the guy at the gate, “You mean that road with the sign that says Road Closed?”.  Rich played dumb.  Which was actually smart.  “Gooseneck Road?” the guy at the gate tried again.


He let us in.  We drove past the road closed sign, on the one way up a dirt road.  


“Where’s the lake Mom?”

“How are we going to get there, Dad?”

“How are we going to get back home?”

“It would be scary to go down that hill, Dad!”


Then a steep downhill, and there it was.  


A little beach on Vail Lake.  


We BBQ’d, the girls played in the water, then in the sand, then in the water.  I took a book, realizing I wasn’t in the mood to learn about parenting, I was in the mood to relax, so I put the book down.  I took pictures, I laid in the sun.  We must have said a couple of times, “I can’t believe we haven’t done this sooner”, and “I can’t believe this is 10 minutes from home”.  


And for the first time in the 4.5 years that I have been a mom, I relaxed while the girls played.


Hmm. That didn’t read like I meant it to, to write. Because they play, and I get bits and chunks of relaxation during most days...so, how can I get the point across...


No chores, no dishes, no cooking.  All the food we had was in the cooler, so help yourself.  The girls were in my constant field of vision.  They swam but it was shallow enough for far enough out that they didn’t need their floaties.  They met new kids.  I wasn’t worried, because there, at Goose Bay, there was nothing to worry about.  No that’s not the truth: I did worry when the girls went out into the water a bit farther than my comfort, but hubbs, who is better at these things than I am, said, “they won’t go farther than they are comfortable with”.  Then, I heard May say, “come on Hadz, it’s getting too deep”.  So then I didn’t worry.  No that’s not the truth: I worried Rich would see the smirk on my face as if to say, “Damn, he’s right”. I’m pretty sure I pulled it off as if my back needed some sun and just turned over.  


And as the sun set behind the hills, Rich started a fire.  May built a wood sculpture.  The clouds started to creep in and I started to worry that we wouldn’t get to see the Super Moon. 


We headed home.  

"How are we going to get back home, Dad?"

"How will we remember how to get here again?"


Ice cream first.  Dirty feet and sunscreen-greased hair, we didn’t seem to care.  Pink clouds puffed up as the sun set in the background, I still didn’t see the moon like I had this time the evening prior.  “I bet it pops up over the hills tonight”, he said, as if to have mind-read my concern.

  

Sand filled the bath, sun kissed faces met cool pillows.


“Thank you for the fun day” was our collective gratitude. 


Turns out they shut the beach down that following week.  It really was too good to be true.  But it was a small piece of peace that was just what I needed without knowing I needed it.  


And as the Super Moon rose that night, over the hills like he said it would, I went outside to take pictures of it, and stopped a minute to take it in, with a smirk, again.  


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 © Houseman 2013