It was a perfect night! Overcast, slightly breezy, but warm. We dipped our feet in the warm pool and chased each other on the cool green grass. It was perfect! The kids had big smiles and perfect rosy cheeks. It was so perfect we decided we should run to the beach and dip our toes in the Gulf.
I was a bit hesitant because, even though our hotel was right on the beach, the water was about a 1/4 mile away (or so it seemed). But we danced our way to the water with the warm breeze blowing through my hair and the giggles of the giddy children playing in my ears. We were the only ones on the beach. The sun was setting behind the heavy clouds. The colors were magical: grey, pink, aqua, and purple.
I grabbed the boys and stripped them of their pants before they even touched their toes to the water. (I have learned my lesson: they never just put their toes in.) Isabella glanced up and down the shore and then asked if it was okay if she took her pants off too. I helped pulled her jeans off over her sandy feet. And they were off. All three chased the tiny gulf waves in and out, running too and fro. So happy and giddy. I briefly disappointed because I had failed to grab my camera*, or even my phone, for my "brief" pre-dinner walk outside.
I paused took a deep breath of the fresh, salty air and just watched and listened to the kids. This was their moment. Memories were being made. Their freedom and happiness filled my soul. It was perfect! Everyone was so happy; not just in their smiles, but the sparkle in their eyes, and the movement of their little bodies. Their bodies exuded joy and touched my motherly heart.
I didn't want the moment to end. It was so perfect! But my motherly wisdom told me it would be best if I ended it before the kids fell into the chilly water and we had to walk back wet and tearful. As the sun was setting even farther I called out, "Two minutes!" I gathered their pants off the sand and less than a minute later (I kid you not!) both boys had been knocked down by a waist high wave and were crying. As Brian and I laughed at the irony and scooped them up Isabella tripped and fell into the water as well. Overtired tears and screams ensued. And that once pleasant walk to the beach felt like a grueling mile trek all the way back while hauling wet, whiny, damp children.
It was so perfect!
*All the photos were taken two weeks prior, when we stayed one night in the same hotel. But it was so very cold and windy (for Florida) that day. We liked the hotel and beach so much we decided we needed to return once the weather was warmer. We are so glad we did.