Our family has a tradition of heading to the beach on New Year’s Day. In Northern California, there’s no denying that the water is cold. This year the air was too. But it was still a breathtaking day.
As we drove over the mountains from our house, our whole family took a collective deep breath. We drove past waves crashing on rocks and admired their tenacity. We ate fresh, delicious seafood at the most popular spot in town — on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Then we headed down to the beach.
We hadn’t planned to go swimming. Though it couldn’t have been a more beautiful sunshiny day, it certainly wasn’t dip-your-waist-down-in-the-water weather. But that didn’t stop the kids. Before we knew it, our six- and four-year-old boys were in far deeper than their rolled-up jeans cautioned them to be. And our toddler, “Pink”, was begging to join them. I took off her jeans, rolled up my own, and in we went.
I couldn’t help but laugh as Pink squealed with excitement. We’d dip our toes, then run backwards to safe, dry sand. She’d beg, “Mo, mo!” And we’d head back in.
Yes, the water was cold, but it was soul cleansing. Taking in the ocean sounds and smell, looking out at the endless horizon. It was the perfect way to start the year.
And Pink agreed. When I was dressing her in her jammies last night, I asked, “Did you have fun today?” And she shouted a brand new word, as she nodded enthusiastically. “Beach!”
Have you started New Year’s Day traditions with your family?