As parents we are faced with many dilemma’s during the years our kids are growing up and learning to live their lives apart from the safe harbor that we call home. We call it a success when that time in their lives is reached and they launch out, graduate from whatever, get a good job, get married and begin raising a family of their own. End of story.
Only, it is never really that simple—this process of living and launching, nourishing and nudging—the dance that begins in the labor room and continues until only God knows when.
Sandi and I are in the time of life where we are fully enjoying the fruit of our labors. There is nothing better than time with all the kids, on someones deck or back yard, drinking wine and listening to the thoughts, ideas, and opinions float around and around the circle that is family.
This past week, Sandi and I joined the rest of the family at the beach in North Litchfield, South Carolina. We have been going to this same beach almost every year since about 1983, when Sandi and I were self-employed craft basket makers and doing as many as 20 arts and craft shows each year.
One of these shows was at Atalaya, a sculpture compound built by Anna Hyatt Huntington in 1931. The castle is across highway 17 from Brookgreen Gardens, which is a sculpture garden and wildlife preserve also built by the Huntingtons. It is several square miles of pure floral and sculptural bliss that can barely be described.
Suffice it to say, our time at the beach is always well spent and there have never been too many rainy days during all these years to spoil our collective fun.
This year, we split a week with my daughter in law’s family. And even though I would have liked to spend the whole week at the beach, the time we had was well spent and featured many “kodak” moments—this a reference to the pre-digital age of camera photo’s as opposed to iPhone point and shoot memories.
Really, the beach is about two things at this point in time—watching the grandkids play in the sand and water and time with our kids at night on the screened in deck.
What I have come away with this year is simple: after all is said and done, family is all you really have in this fast paced world.
In retrospect I would also have to say to my kids—life is never going to be perfect and there are many things about our time here on earth that you will never be able to figure out. Learn to hold things lightly and go easy on yourself when you fail to live up to your own expectations or when others disappoint you. Learn to respect yourself and love others and hopefully you won’t take as long as it has taken me to figure these things out.
Just as God is always with you, you are always in our thoughts and prayers and we want you to be happy and enjoy the parts of life that you find yourself in and surrounded about. We gave it our best all those years ago and hopefully you will remember the good times and let the rough patches build the character in you they were intended to create.
We love you and are blessed that you are successful in living and loving everyday.
This year at the beach was one of the best.