No one was as giddy as I was when our family of five parked our van a few hundred feet from the boardwalk. Camera ever in hand, I captured my son's first glimpse of the sea. I studied the girls over the next few hours as they gained more confidence in this strange new place. At first they were unsure of leaving the blanket for the dry sand. Then, the wet sand was a whole new ball game. Venturing into the water was both exciting and scary. Sophie grabbed hold of me so tight the first time I took her into the water. When the wave washed over her feet, she lifted her lower body as high as she could and I couldn't stop roaring. She impressed me with how quickly she adapted and spent a great deal of time walking out into the waves which occasionally knocked her off balance. "Whoa!" she said all day long as each wave came in.
One of my favorite shots is Helena's first dip in the water. Scared but trusting, she clung to me for reassurance. "Wee!" she would yell with each wave. She also quickly adapted and was soon scurrying across the sand like a hermit crab. Alexander jumped in right away but never ventured too far without us. He was intent on exploring and building sand castles with his dad. My children have no idea just how lucky they are.
As the day came to a close, we strolled the boardwalk, sharing fish and chips, ice cream, and checking out the cute shops busting at the seams with tchotchkes.
I dreamed of spending the day at the beach with my family. Though this dream had to wait for me to grow up and create a family of my own, it finally happened and it was better than anything I have ever imagined.
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