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Part of the reason we live where we do is because we are surrounded by fresh, clear blue water, and sugary sand beaches. It’s so unbelievably gorgeous that we really have to remind ourselves to take time out and relish in the majesty of our surroundings. That said, the Baby has had other ideas when it comes to spending time at the beach–as in he hated it. He didn’t like the cold water. He didn’t like the feel of the sand. Huh? We LOVE the beach! But the Baby? Not so much. Until this weekend.

NOW, he “gets” the beach. Finally! He likes to play at the edge of the surf. He likes to crawl in the sand. Last summer, we tucked him in our beach tent, and he happily snoozed in his car seat while we played in the water. Easy-peasy. This summer, he is playing in the water with us. It’s a milestone for our family to be able to play at the beach, again. We love that the Baby is old enough to enjoy it.

Wait. What?

Is the Baby really old enough to really enjoy the beach? How did that happen? I swear that he was just born, like, 5 minutes ago!

Geez, Louise! Before I know it, he’ll be flirting with all of the teenage girls, showing them the cool rock that he found, like his brother.

Next thing I know, he’ll start digging in the sand for cool shells, or Petosky stones, like his other brother.

Or maybe, he’ll be content to catch minnows, like his oldest brother.

And before I know it, the Baby will be a big grown-up man, playing with his kids in the water, while I watch from shore. Sigh.

By the way, almost every picture that I take of Hubby is of him tossing some sort of object back and forth with the boys.

No matter how many times I hear “Enjoy it, it goes by so fast!”, I think that I have all the time in the world to relish in the stages that my boys are in.Yet, it seems to me that my oldest boy was just the Baby a few short weeks ago. And each of my other sons was the Baby a frolicking in the water a few minutes after that. How did the Baby-Baby get so big? How did they all get so old? How did this happen so fast? And more importantly, how do I slow it down?

As much as I’d like to freeze my boys into little moments in time so that I don’t miss anything, I know that is an impossibility. I just have to remember to take the time to take a mental snapshot to remember each stage of life as they live it. I have to remember to take pleasure in every moment, and enjoy shaping and observing the men that they become.

And I give thanks to God for every opportunity to do so.

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