We’re headed to the beach in a few days, and I think it’s safe to say we’re ready for a break. Ready to drink a goombay:
It’s hard to believe that in a few short days, we’ll get to introduce Lila:
…to the magic of Harbor Island. We’ll have buttered toast for breakfast, served on incredibly thick, white island bread—bread purchased daily from the Piggly Wiggly. For lunch, cheese toast topped with tomato slices and sprinkled generously with salt and pepper—served, always, nestled in colorful plastic baskets. Don’t ask me why—those are just the rules. And on Harbor Island, rules are made to be followed. Like the rule about mandatory naptime every day. And the rule about 5:00 volleyball games, followed by a 6:00 swim and a 7:00 goombay. There’s mandatory backgammon, and mandatory Van Morrison. We take mandatory beach walks at night, and it’s written in the rules that *someone* has to sneak down to the beach ahead of time and jump out of the bushes to scare everybody else. There’s mandatory coconut pie. And mandatory reading on the beach. Mandatory drip castles. Mandatory hermit crab collecting. Mandatory conch fritters.
Can you tell I’m excited?
During our last trip, on a beach walk, Ryan and I discussed whether or not we were maybe (possibly? maybe?!?) ready to start thinking about having kids. Two months later, I was knocked up, so things moved a bit more quickly than we’d planned, haha. I remember thinking on that walk that I wasn’t *sure* if I was ready. Probably a lot people feel that way—can you ever really be ready, after all?
But I was sure of one thing. I knew that one day I’d be introducing a new little soul to the pure joy that Harbor Island is to our family. I knew that I’d walk down the beach and have another tiny person tripping along with me on the pink sand. I knew we’d flip through the sticky, sea-weathered photo albums that get pulled out of the closet, year after year—albums that have recorded highs and lows, vacations and hurricanes, first visits and fiftieth visits. The albums are in terrible condition, but year after year, even as the pictures seem to fade and disintegrate before our eyes, what they represent remains strong and clear: what it means to love, truly love, a place. To love a place to deeply that it seems to wedge itself into some part of you—not just who you are, but who you were, and who you’ll be.
On this Thanksgiving—a day of gratitude and appreciation—I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.