bathing suit

What’s in the Box?????

Diva Cat in the Box

What’s in the box???? Ok, so yes, my diva cat Lucy is in the box. The box, though, came from Land’s End and contained my new bathing suit for our beach trip. Today, we head to the beach for a week, and I don’t think we could feel less prepared.

Compared to other trips, this one was easy to pack for because we have almost no summer clothes. Despite our house being declared “clean” (feel free to imagine that being said by Tangina in Poltergeist) after our last carpet beetle treatment, we haven’t had a chance to bring back our clothes from storage. Daniel has 14 pairs of shorts and assorted shirts; Jimmy and I have the jeans we’re wearing, a few t-shirts and bathing suits. Looks like we’ll be going shopping. In addition to my wardrobe, my body is definitely not beach ready. I’m flabby and out of shape from months of takeout and quick meals due to stress and general busy-ness.

This vacation is also our first week-long one. Normally our beach trips are more like long weekends. Those trips were fine pre-Daniel, but another pesky little detail left out of “What to Expect”-type books is how vacations change with children. Honestly, that realization was a rude awakening for me 2 years ago during our first family beach trip as silly as that might sound. I was used to spending all day on the beach with several books and doing whatever, whenever I wanted.

Vacation with a toddler? Relaxing isn’t quite the word I’d use. On the first trip we lugged a high chair, pack ‘n play and a million other items into a hotel room and felt claustrophobic after 5 minutes. Last year we found a place with a bedroom that could be closed off from the living room. It was small and Daniel ended up sleeping with us on the pull-out couch. Comfy! That trip did have the perk of exposing us to old reruns of The Office, and when we returned, we bought and watched every season.

This year’s trip will be different. Hopefully. We are renting a two-bedroom condo for the week, and I already feel less stressed at my need to cram in as much quality time on the beach as possible. Exhale.

I love the beach. That may be a surprise since my skin is the color of a dead, plucked chicken and my encounters with the sun include the highest SPF possible. But I do. I have to make a pilgrimage to the ocean every year to let the sand stream through my toes and bathe in the ocean. When I look at the ocean, its size overwhelms me and I feel like I’m at the end of the world. I remember that life began in the ocean and thousands of generations later, my soul still responds to that primordial call. It calms me and puts everything into perspective. It’s a giant, much-needed reset button.

I feel a little unready for this trip considering how much I’ve been out of town recently; I don’t think I could have waited a moment longer though.

Also? Five points if you can name the movie in which the title of the post was uttered.