It’s my favorite part of summer. Summer Beach Days at Zuma Beach in Malibu. And this summer we were there nearly every Monday that didn’t find us out of town.
|From Summer Beach Days 2010|
A Beach Day goes like this. Early in the morning, I roll over in bed and ask TJ to get all the beach gear out of the garage before he leaves for work (I know, I’m lucky). I wake up and start making sandwiches and packing the cooler. I take advantage of the opportunity to empty my cupboards of stuff that is too messy to eat at home, like peanuts in the shell and Nerds candy and mini powdered sugar donuts. That stuff is great for kids to eat over a floor that doesn’t require my cleaning.
The kids wake up around 9:30 a.m (I know, I’m lucky), they change into their swimsuits and gather their beach toys and clothes. Somehow a time warp happens between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. and I wonder why it takes two hours to load the car with beach gear, lunch and kids. And then finally, we’re out the door and on Kanan Dume Road. Three tunnels later, we’re on PCH in Malibu, and then Zuma Beach, between Stations 11 and 12.
After I pack mule all the gear onto the beach and set up our beach basecamp, I’m ready to sit on my beach chair and soak up the scene. But alas, the sun is burning so it’s time to spray and rub their soft skin with SPF 50 whilst they try to wiggle away and whine, “C’mon Mom, that’s enough.”
We build sandcastles for our imaginary Beach Fairy friends who come out at night to frolick with the sea creatures and play in the sandcastles. Of course, we can’t see the Beach Fairies because they only come out when all the humans leave the beach. But we believe they adore the children that leave fanciful sandcastles for them to play among.
We hunt for seashells, sea glass and sand crabs. I wrote about that here.
And then, the best part happens. My very favorite. At about 4 p.m., the sun starts to dip westward, making the water sparkle from the horizon to the shore. Most families have packed up and headed home, leaving just us and a few other die-hards on the huge stretch of sand. It’s a magical time. My kids sense the shift and explore the beach with a newfound spirit of freedom and peace.
I’m not the type that goes to great lengths to keep the sand out of the car. In fact, it’s a pleasant reminder of our favorite place until our next Beach Day.
My dear friend Rachel and her kiddos were visiting from Colorado and we had the most perfect day together at the beach. The same beach where Rachel and I first tried (unsuccessfully) surfing when we were both Freshmen in college. And now, many years later (holy crap, I just counted EIGHTEEN years since then), we returned to the same beach, as mothers, with six children between us. I just loved sharing our favorite place with some of our favorite people. And about a dozen dolphins joined in on the fun, too.
Mama Nugget: It’s easy to get trapped in the convenient four walls of our homes and the safe bubble of our local communities. But if we step out and explore the riches around us, it can renew our souls and remind us to live an abundant life.