Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wave and smile

My main travel concern was major traffic tie ups, but then I tried to shift the worry to something under my control, like whether or not I had packed enough snacks to sustain us for a six-hour car ride. Eventually, I let my mind wander to the possibility that the weather forecast would have just a shred of accuracy to warrant the full bag I dedicated to sweatshirts. I tried to keep my focus off of the possibility that our annual trip to Cape Cod would somehow be less magical now that we had two teenagers in tow. I was afraid that leaving behind some electronics and the groove worn in the couch might provoke a general sense of surliness that no amount of sea mist could wash away.



Songs we hadn’t heard in quite some time were beckoning us from the car’s speakers. We all knew the words from when the CD was on a constant loop during road trips and errand running. Thoughts were shared about the days we danced around our family room, out of breath as the chorus took all of the wind we had in our pipes. Eventually, even the back seat caved in and sang along. I started to relax as I realized that there was still plenty of childhood spirit left inhabiting those much larger bodies.



The next sound I heard was the fumbling of DVD cases as the power cord for the player was passed forward. I have listened to so many movies from the driver’s seat, and eagerly awaited the afternoon’s selection. What images would I need to conjure in my mind to go along with the dialogue? How many times would they patiently let me know which part of one of our favorite classics we were on? In a matter of moments, he was watching Avatar and she was watching Perks of Being a Wallflower. Both of them were wearing earphones and the van was silent. I have never even seen either of those movies. The fear that these children of ours had outgrown the fun we could offer crept in again.



The sign that the tides would be changing in my favor came when we literally saw the sign “Welcome to Cape Cod 2013”. That was the moment when we knew we only had another hour to go, the point when we have always sprung back to life. We crossed the bridge, and everyone laughed at how nervous it always makes me. As usual, I shouted my dismay and envy that they all got to enjoy the view of the Cape Cod Canal while I was white-knuckling the steering wheel just trying to stay between the lines. Everybody was on the lookout as we passed places with funny names like Sandwich and Mashpee on route 6, waiting for exit 11. We were still laughing and chatting as we pulled into the driveway.



The thrill of seeing our family, the anticipation that built surveying this year’s tide chart and planning the departure time for the beach, the comfort of claiming their beds in the room they would share…the sweet simplicity of just sharing each other’s company. I saw no pouting and heard no unpleasant tones.


As we visited the beach each day, I felt those anxious tendencies wash away just like the foamy surf, as we were mesmerized by the waves.  We saw at least twenty seals during our stay, and each one was just as exciting as the one that came before. There are some wonders we may never outgrow…thank goodness.


27 comments:

  1. ahh the soothing waves washing it all away.. so nice..

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    1. The sound, the sight...simply awesome!

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  2. Reconnecting and just having fun with the family makes these vacations memorable.

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  3. Sounds lovely. How long did it last once you got home? ;)

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    1. I think the key was still in the lock!

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  4. We took a trip with our 16 year-old this summer. But 55 consecutive days with a teenager ceases to be a vacation sometime around day 12.

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    1. I am impressed that it is as many as 12!

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  5. Seals? Any sharks about?

    I love how the ocean washes away tensions and anxieties so easily!!

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    1. No shark sightings this year. One woman was convinced (and thereby convinced her children) that she saw a whale.

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  6. I love the idea of not outgrowing wonders. Beautiful! :)

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  7. If all goes well, we'll be taking our youngest son back to the ocean this winter. He's pretty dependant on his technology as well, so I'm curious to see how he makes out. Especially since he probably won't have any of his brothers along this time to bicker with.

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    1. Seems part of the key might be too exhausted to complain much (except about being tired).

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  8. Getting away from the electronic life can be like being sent to rehab - difficult to think about, but good once it 'takes'!

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    1. Yes, I never speak of what is getting left behind, only about what we get to do!

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  9. All is right if there are ocean waves involved...

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    1. As long as they are the right size waves (sometimes)

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  10. I took a 7 hour trip with my 9 year-old son and it was a battle to keep him off the games. Sounds like they don't change that much when they hit the teen years.

    And nothing heals the soul like the ocean. And seals :)
    I'm so jealous, all we see here in Florida is fish and the occasional crab and turtle.

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    1. Oooh, turtles would be fun! One year we stumbled upon a whole bunch of starfish!

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  11. How wonderful that you have family traditions...my kids didn't. My husband was always "too busy." He now (of course, in hindsight) regrets it.

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    1. Never too late to come up with something!

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  12. Salt water is so good for the soul!

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  13. I agree with Larks.....I love the beach! Is the road dangerous? Why the white knuckles?

    xo,
    RJ

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  14. Sounds like a great place to go. Glad you and your family had a good time.

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  15. I'm jealous! We didn't get a family vacation this year, just a weekend camping trip. sigh. I hate it when my medical stuff ruins everything.
    Tina @ Life is Good

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