February is my favorite month to live in Florida. The weather is perfect. There is often a perfect breeze and it isn't yet too hot. The Irishman and I have spent many a February weekend on the beach napping (him) and reading (me). It is just lovely!
We'd talked about taking Caitlin to the beach until we saw the news last week. February beach trips have never been about swimming for us, so we typically don't take much notice. There are currently sharks migrating off the coast. They *claim* they are safe, but really? Do you want to be the one to take shark bait a toddler for a swim with the sharks?
Then there were the rip currents and the reports of jellyfish, man-o-war, and sea lice. Yikes!
On Monday we picked Caitlin up early and headed to the beach. I'd heard the wind and switched directions so the sea pests were not as bad. The plan was to stay way up on the sand, far away from the sharks, jellyfish, man-o-war, sea lice, and rip currents. I had St. Patrick's Day props, a little blanket, cute little outfits - the works. I was in the middle of changing her out of her school clothes when...
Why yes, that is my half-naked child running without a care in the world toward the ocean.
(If you look closely her name is written on the back of her diaper. They do that at school for some reason yet unknown to us. Honestly though it made the whole situation seem even more comical to me.)
The beautiful photo of her sitting in the safe sand at the top of the beach? Yeah. That never happened.
An hour of running along the beach as Daddy chased her out of the water's edge? Shrieks of joy and endless giggles as she fearlessly ran towards the waves and got scooped up by Daddy? You bet.
It was the perfect end to an absolutely lovely day.