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The Beach at its Best

Author: JLB

Published On: April 30, 2009

April 4 could not come soon enough! It was the day that we would journey down to the white sandy beaches of the Florida panhandle. We all were giddy as we picked up our key fobs for the condo. We took our luggage up to the seventh floor condo and were pleasantly surprised absolutely amazed at the beautiful place we would live for a week. It was as big as our house, but all on one floor! Good thing though, since over the next 24 hours we would be joined by three other families—eight adults, five kids under three and one pre-teen.

I grew up an only child and have never lived with other people with kids for any length of time. We do dinner at each other’s houses, sure, but a week with all those littles? Well, the jury was out and we—well at least the moms—wondered how this all would go.

Amazingly well, actually. And I think that we, as parents, and our kids are all the better for a communal vacation. We went grocery shopping together, we figured out the “smart” appliances together. We got ice packs and band-aids for boo-boos together.  We helped parent each others’ children. We went out to eat together. We LIVED together.  It was fabulous!

The dads had work out buddies, and guys crazy enough to run chest deep in a COLD gulf! The moms had each other to share in sleep and ear infection woes and come up with creative ideas to keep toddlers occupied when it was too cold for the beach. I think our children got the most out of it though. Margot loved having younger babies around to help take care of and she learned (somewhat) how to give gentle hugs. She also enjoyed a little boyfriend her age to jump with and hug. They all loved having people their own size around to watch Curious George, dig in the sand, make pretend soup and just hang out and be kids.

This really is what it’s all about, right? We’re called to live in community, to share our stories and our lives with one another and to grow up together.


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