A few months back, when the kids and I were figuring out our summer plans, I promised them that we would head down the shore more often this year. As a kid myself, we spent countless summers at the Jersey shore, and it remains a place near and dear to my heart. And one of my favorite things is being to share something I enjoyed myself as a child, with my own kids now.
Life is pretty awesome that way.
But, unfortunately, like perhaps some things in your very own hometown, sometimes we just take for granted what is reasonably close to us, and don’t visit as often as we should.
I think we went down the shore three or four times last year.
And this year, I vowed to do better at that. And since we’ve already gone down twice this summer, I’d say I’m winning at this little (but very big) promise.
A few years ago, when my brother-in-law first took the kayak out onto the bay, he asked Nick to go with him. And Nick went, but needed a bit of convincing.
Man, how things have changed since then. Over the past couple of years, Nick has quickly become an adrenaline junkie. Everything is higher, better, faster. Which is kind of awesome, but whoa, you know?
When the kids and I were down there this weekend, Nick and Madeline were out kayaking on their own.
I feel that one of my jobs as a parent is to give my kids enough tools so that they can fly on their own. But seeing that in action? It’s equal parts amazing and bittersweet.
I love that they are up for any adventure, and need me less and less.
But with that comes the notion that they’re growing up.
And I’m just not ready.
They are both at such wonderful stages in their lives, I would happily freeze this phase forever.
But since I can’t, I will cheer mightily from the sidelines.
And, of course, document every second of it.