Yesterday, we returned home from several days at the beach. This was Harper's second trip and Brynn's first. Rather than give a blow-by-blow of the activities, which would be amazingly boring for anyone who doesn't have my last name, and probably pretty boring for them, I will simply write a few of the lessons that I learned along the way and, of course, post some adorable pictures.
The first lesson is that no place is child-proofed as much you would like. A nice home filled with memories of your own childhood are also filled with tiny shells and spice canisters at knee-level, all of which your own children will find and destroy with reckless abandon and complete disregard for your own upbringing.
Another important thing to know is that you can't possibly clean enough sand off of your kids to make them happy. They will manage to stuff granules into crevices that you didn't even know existed. If you put said child in the washing machine for 3 weeks, they will still have sand in their hair.
The most important lesson, however, of this past week is the fact that the job of the person taking pictures is not to chronicle the vacation, but to provide the rosy picture of what the vacation is supposed to be, whether or not it happened. This is not to say that one should use the camera to lie, but rather to avoid the unpleasant realities that exist when traveling with children.
The following is a list of things that were not recorded on the digital record:
Children up at 3am for no reason.
Children screaming for their mother to carry them at all times.
Children falling and biting their lips, bleeding.
Harper standing on the beach, refusing to move until Sara picks her up.
Brynn climbing off the porch, running down the street, laughing as we chase her.
None of these things are important. What's important is the record of happy times that we all had at the beach. In 20 years, none of us will remember that I was ready to come home within 10 minutes of being there.
What we will remember is the collection of smiling pictures that I took, the sunrise that I watched with Harper when she got up at 5am, for no reason and bobbing in the ocean, holding my laughing daughter.