We needed a vacation. Jack was having one, hours away on his annual four day weekend golf bender, and the girls and I were left at home with all the responsibilities of summer. We were ready for a day at the beach but this time we chose a one hour drive over a 15 minute walk. There was no planning, and very little actual thought beyond wanting to see the view from the other side of the water.
Bag packed, dog walked, children in the car, and one hour later we were as far away from the city as you need to be if you only need one day of vacation. We remembered bathing suits, towels and sunblock; we forgot pails and shovels and the big blue umbrella.
"Girls! We forgot your sand buckets!"
"That's all right Mom, we have these cups from Starbucks, they'll work".
They did. We had a nice sandy picnic, we played in the water, and for several glorious hours, we built a sand village with nothing more than the plastic cups we had accumulated throughout the day. For the first time in months, the girls collaborated, rather than argued, and worked well together to create a neighborhood of small sand huts, with no worries as to whose turn it was or whose bucket was last used for water, the usual banter of the beach architecture.
As one who has gone to great lengths to limit the amount of toys we own, who firmly believes that the best tool for play is a vivid imagination (and a sister), the Starbucks cup sand suburb was reassuring. My children might understand. While they will always want, they don't always need; adorned with shells and rocks and feathers, it was simply beautiful. A fine reminder to their mother who usually brings scoops and shovels and castle shaped buckets to the beach, all we really need is six hands, a few plastic cups and
For one day, we had all the time we could need.