I have fond memories as a student of time spent at the beach with my best mate. We used to decide on Friday afternoon that we needed some surf time…so we threw some clothes into a tog bag, jumped into his beach buggy, turned the CD player up as high as we could and made the hour long trip down to the beach front.
The next four or five hours would be spent in the surf, body surfing or just bobbing up and down on the endless waves making their way to shore. When we were hungry we would make our way to the corner shop where we bought cheap, oil drenched “chip-bunnies” (french fries placed into a quarter loaf of dug out bread with copious amounts of cheap sauce). As it became dark we would phone someone we knew in the area to see if we could crash on their lounge floor. Sun, surf and good times.
Yesterday, I found myself on the same beach. Sun, surf and good times – again. The difference was that this time I had my family with me. Instead of four or five hours of bobbing up and down in the surf and catching waves, I spent time jumping over waves with my 5 year old, holding my 11 year old’s hand as we made our way to the back-line with the body board and showing her how to catch a wave, and then walking out with her and sitting on the beach as she recovered from the thrashing she got from a particular large wave. Then watching the three year old building sandcastles and making sure she didn’t go too deep into the surf. Then heading back into the surf once again where my son needed some coaching on how to duck down under the waves to make it easier to get to the back line. Then back out again to see if there was anything my wife needed.
I did manage to catch a couple of waves for myself – but just about 20 minutes worth – and this time with 3 kids joining me.
Reading through the descriptions of my two beach outings, you may be inclined to think that the outing with my family was not as relaxing or fun as my student days outing. But you know what, it was just as good. I got to spend time with my kids and wife, and experience something that I love with them. They got to see a bit of the life I lived before they came along – and I got to share their beach experience with them. They are not going to be talking about how many waves dad caught, but they will be talking about the time we spent together.
We made memories – together.