Monday, August 1, 2011

Playing outside: Winter beach in the sunshine

Really, I feel like I should have titled this post "spring beach in the sunshine". It might be 1 August today (technically, by the calendar, still neck-deep in winter) but hola! the sun! the warmth! the washing away of the greyness!

All my children have always loved the beach, and we're very lucky that we live within easy reach of several, being located in a suburb once-removed from the Melbourne bayside shoreline. (On the less-flash side, FYI :-)

Although I know many people with kids are intrepid enough to visit the beach year-round - rugging up against the biting winds, buckets & spades in hand, ready for winter flotsam adventures - I am, myself, fairly cold-averse, especially if getting cold also carries the 70-90% chance of at least one child getting wet (which, if I take all three kids to the beach, is basically my odds). So I've never seen the beach as a May-October activity before.

Today, though, after dropping the big kids to school and my partner to work, I turned to the toddler on a whim and asked if she'd like to try a different library and park today. We usually visit our local library and then stop at a park on the way home on Monday mornings, but I'm usually on foot, whereas today I had the use of the family car.

Amenable as usual to a new experience, toddler enthusiastically assented, so we went to the library near the beach. Going to a new library was in itself an excitement for her, as was the morning tea in a beachside cafe, which occupied us with hot chocolate & meringue (her) and latte (me) for a blissful 20 minutes. We then progressed to the park, opposite the shoreline, for some play.

C liked the park. It had swings, slides, bridges, tunnels, etcetera and et al. Even while playing, though, her gaze kept turning to the beach opposite, wistfully, longingly. Finally, I said, "Do you want to walk along the pier, honey?"

"YESSSSSSS!" she carolled and took off with me in hot pursuit.

After we'd paced out the pier, C tugged me down onto the sand. "Too hot fo' socks, Mummy!" she declared, de-sockifying herself rapidly, before proceeding to chase seagulls, dig sand with found shells, run around laughing, and boat-watch for a sunny, happy, half-hour.

We drove home for lunch completely satisfied with our morning, the both of us. Who would've thunk that some time by the bay would do us so much good.


  1. sounds lovely! funnily enough we drove home along the beach and probably passed you playing in the park yesterday morning! off to Cherry Lake today for picnic lunch to make the most of such lovely weather.

  2. Hope you had a brilliant picnic. Tomorrow's meant to be even nicer!