I once heard that nostalgia is so important to our sense of being that as the world has become faster and more fleeting, we have subconsciously compensated by literally creating our own nostalgia for our brains to consume — with things like filters for everything, by physically editing out unseemly details from photos, by creating reels from snippets of our lives. We are actively choosing not just what we want to remember; we are choosing how we want to remember it as well. What a powerful thing — and a necessary thing in today’s world, if nothing else than to help us remember it all (or at all).
And, to be honest, that’s really what I want — to hold onto every little memory about this life, about our precious girls whose childhood is fading away as I speak, about how this life felt in each moment.
At the same time, though, I have this juxtaposing desire to forget all the bad things that are mixed into those precious memories — things like a summer that didn’t truly feel like summer; one that carried with it the undertone of fear and frustration and sadness and uncertainty; one where we tried to candy-coat the disappointments and cancellations with new and exciting Plan Bs, all the while ignoring the silent elephant in the season that this is fun but this is not what we had planned on doing.
As I write the words, it seems like the perfect tagline to Summer 2020:
This is fun but this is not what we had planned on doing.
In reality, this week we should’ve been waking up at dawn, shuffling little feet to little desks, but with a delay in start and an impending virtual-schooling sentence, instead we decided to put a definitive punctuation mark on this summer with a last-minute girls’ trip to the beach. And, yes, I’ve already declared all the nostalgia in the world around this little weekend:
I will remember her squeals as the waves raced after Cricket up and down the shore. I will remember the creation of “Ice Cream Dinners” and how a little yes can go a long way in childhood. I will remember the feeling of being out at sea, chasing a storm instead of dolphins, feeling deeply the weight of dark clouds and the uptick in the wind and the buzz of rain in the distance. I’ll remember the excitement of jumping in the ocean after sunset pictures, and the discovery that sunrise pictures are just as enamoring. I’ll remember swimming the clear, post-storm waters with E.V., surrounded by dozens of sunfish glittering in the morning sun. I’ll remember running around the lazy river, discovering the best little ice cream dive in Florida, creating an aquarium out of a sand pail with Cricket, sleeping in sandy hotel beds, watching simultaneous weddings from our balcony with a wide-eyed and eager Emma Vance. But most of all, of course, I’ll remember being with my girls.
On our last morning, as I walked out into the ocean, full of fish, Cricket cried out to me, hands splayed out on either side of her mouth to ensure her message got to me, “Mom! Look how daring you were to make that decision!” Amen, sister. Amen.
NAVARRE BEACH GIRLS’ TRIP 2020
We ran as fast as we could out to the pool + ocean as soon as we arrived!
and again at the crack of dawn the next day (and every day!)
(proof that I was, in fact, there, behind the camera all along)
S U N S E T
Cricket liked the beach but LOVED the pool…and of course E.V. was the opposite. Sigh. So we split our days to make everyone happy.
These sandy-Cricket pics are some of my all-time faves, although IDK why…
We took a Dolphin Cruise and thankfully saw dolphins in the marina as we pulled out. Then as soon as we got out to sea, a storm came, cutting our time short, which should have been disappointing, but I like a good storm and LOVE one at the beach.
Cricket literally thought she was driving the boat, and it was adorable.
S I S T E R S
We randomly discovered this little gem of a road-side ice cream shack and it was goooood.
I was initially sold on this hotel because of the lazy river, and it did not disappoint (me or the girls).
One last sunrise in the ocean…