We took a family trip to San Diego to visit our son. Our cozy beach house was in a great location and there is something special about being near an ocean.
My granddaughter and I are early risers. Each of the four mornings we’d hang out for a bit, then head for a walk along the ocean, while everyone else was still slumbering. One morning we watched surfers paddle to find the right waves. One morning we watched shore birds with long beaks digging in the sand. One morning we played tag with the surf, chasing us in and out along the shore. One morning we discovered sand dollars and colorful shells.
We talked about the ocean, tides, and waves. We talked about gulls, pelicans, and other interesting creatures. We talked about the cold, wet sand in the morning versus the hot, grainy sand in the afternoon. We met a couple locals and a friendly dog, as we waited for the coffee/hot chocolate stand to open. We talked about what we were going to do that day.
But mostly we just walked hand in hand and heart to heart.
I know that not everyone has grandchildren, or are not near to them in geography or in relationship. I know that having only two grandchildren puts us in a position where we can develop a deeper relationship. I know that being grandparents gives us the luxury of perspective. I know that the day will come, oh too soon, where she won’t want to hold my hand, won’t be as excited to see us, and that I’ll mostly be an annoying old man to her.
We had lots of enjoyable moments and fun memories from this trip. I am grateful that we could be together as a family, which doesn’t happen as often now.
And the reminder that special things are simple things, comes from walks with a nine year-old girl.