In three days, we will pack up the family car to the brim and head for the Outer Banks. I have been looking forward to this vacation since Thanksgiving last year when I was about 20 weeks pregnant, just found out I was having a little girl and couldn't wait to share one of my major loves with her - the beach. I should say that, even though my family moved around like it was our job, we were always near the ocean. To me, the beach was my back yard (literally in some places that we lived). I spent many summer, fall, even winter days on the beach, looking for shells, horseshoe crabs, and periwinkles. We would walk, run, jump to the end of the jetty and feel like we were alone in the world, surrounded by the sound of crashing waves. These memories of my childhood give me such peace (I have few childhood memories that do). The beach has become part of me, almost to the point where I have salt water in my veins! Living so far away from the ocean now makes me feel like I've left part of myself there on the sand.
So, this beach vacation has been eagerly anticipated. I did not expect the amount of stress that would accompany me on this trip! This will be T's first real road trip. With traffic, we are expecting it to take us 7-8 hours to get there! We'll be leaving early in the morning, so hopefully she'll sleep most of the time, but if she doesn't... Let's not dwell there just yet. I've made dozens of lists of what I'll need to pack for her, surveyed countless moms for their recommendations and have done "practice packing runs" in my head. I just know I'll forget something and will regret it later! Besides the packing and travelling, T has been going through a rough sleeping phase. She's been getting up 3-4 times a night (what happened to my good sleeper??!!), cranky during the day (teething and lack of continuous sleep are the likely culprits), and not eating as well.
I hope this trip turns out to be all (or even half) of what I had hoped for back in November. Maybe T will surprise me and sleep most of the way and transition out of this phase quickly... maybe. Regardless, I am so happy to share the one place that always brings me peace with my daughter, just as my mom shared it with me. This will be the first of many such trips to the beach for us, I'm sure. Our first beach trip will always be special though.