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The Beauty of Exploring

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The Beauty of Exploring

On a hot and muggy day in June, my father John, my boyfriend Justin, and I decided to take my two year old daughter, Isabell, to the beach. We felt this would be the perfect year to take her for numerous reasons. One reason is because her curiosity about everything and always exploring her surroundings. We also thought this would be a good year to start creating fond memories, now that she is a little older. After getting myself dressed in a blue, one piece bathing suit, I dressed Isabell in her pink Old Navy two piece bathing suit.

Once everyone was dressed and ready to leave, we stepped outside of the air conditioned house. Within minutes, the four of us were covered in sweat, as we walked down the long concrete pathway to the beach. On our way there, we were all trying to teach Isabell how to say different words associated with the beach.

"Isabell, can you say beach?" I asked.

Isabell tried to say beach; however, beach is not the word that came out of her mouth. Perhaps, another five letter "b" word came out instead.

Laughing, my father asked, "How about saying ocean, Isabell?"

She then tried saying ocean, but another inappropriate word came out instead.

As Justin pushed Isabell in the stroller, over the boardwalk he said, "Okay Isabell, how about we just stick with saying water. Can you say water?"

With much thrill, Isabell shouted, "Water!"

Consequently, we all decided we would say we were going to the water, and save ocean and beach for another year.

As we walked down the stairs onto the beach, carrying the stroller, we started to feel the hot sun beat on our skin. It felt as if a piece of bacon could be cooked right on our skin. When we got onto the beach, we took our shoes off so it would be easier to walk. We pulled the stroller backwards, because the sand was so deep; the wheels kept digging deeper and deeper into the sand. Our feet were burning, as we struggled pulling the stroller through the hot sand.

We finally arrived to the perfect spot on the beach; close to the water but not too close as the tide was coming in for the day. Isabell was so excited. She was kicking, screaming with joy, and trying to climb out of her stroller, before I was able to get her unbuckled.

"Out, out, out," she bellowed.

I quickly snapped, "Just wait, Isabell! I need to get the sunscreen on everyone first!"

She immediately went from being happy and joyful, to mad and angry, as I attempted to apply sunscreen on her. She had no patience, as the ocean was just a short distance away.

After applying sunscreen lotion, I took Isabell out of her stroller.

"Okay, Isabell. Let's get out and play in the sand," I said anxiously.

"Ewww, mommy," she said with disgust.

She didn't like when her bare feet touched the hot, soft and gritty sand; however, she was intrigued by all of her sand toys we had brought for her to play with.

"Toys, toys, toys," she yelled with much joy.

Isabell had a green bucket, a few sand shovels, a crab sifter, and a few toy trucks to play with while she was in the sand. She then saw a hole, approximately one and a half to two feet deep, which someone had dug prior to us arriving. She ran over to where the hole was dug, and started to throw her toys in; along with her shoes and towel. My father and I helped her get down into the hole, after taking her shoes and towel out. Isabell played in the hole for about twenty minutes, before she became interested in the water.

Once Isabell became interested in the water, I became very nervous. I thought to myself, Oh my gosh, what if she runs into the water and gets bit by a crab? Or, what if she runs into the water and goes deeper than she can stand? Surprisingly, she was scared every time the water got near her feet.

Isabell started screaming, "No, no, no," and ran the other way frantically.

Justin and I decided to pick her up to gently get her used to the water; however, as soon as we started getting in the water above our knees, Isabell became hysterical.

As we were carrying her out of the water, my father said, "Let's just walk down the beach with her, give her the time she needs to get used to the water and she will go in when she is ready."



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