Sometimes, you need to show off your mad skills with the boogie board to your buddies.
And when you're done, you just need to curl up on the warm sand under a towel.
Sometimes, with enough sunscreen plus protective gear from Lands End, you can sit in the sun and dig for hours.
Sometimes, you really prefer the shade.
Sometimes, you need to get up close and personal with nature -- but not TOO close.
Sometimes, you need to get so close you're actually rolling in it.
And sometimes, you need to try to control the uncontrollable. It's you versus the ocean, and you. will. win.
Sometimes, you need to be able to fling great gobs of mud and sand around without any adults reprimanding you.
And sometimes, you need an adult to be so cool that he lets you and your comrades actually lob those great gobs of sand in his direction -- and then dishes it right back.
Sometimes, you, the mom, need to be somewhat extraneous to your children's entertainment. ("Need help?" "No, Mom.") In that case, you might retreat to your beach chair and read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Four stars, y'all. Maybe five. My reward for making it through Light in August).
And sometimes, you need to know you're needed. Wanted. Valued. Irreplaceable.
Sometimes, you need to prove you're powerful enough to summon a whole flock of seagulls with a handful of chopped hotdogs.
Of course, sometimes what you really need is a little refreshment.
Or a nap.
Sometimes, you need quiet moments, preferably shortly after sunrise, to walk on the beach, stare at the sea, and realize that your Father's love makes that vast ocean seem like a morning drop of dew.
And feel so thankful for it all.
(FYI: All this weekend loveliness took place in Port Aransas, a place we've visited before, and, our status as former South Carolina Beach Snobs notwithstanding, found surprisingly charming. We've stayed here and here, both super close to the sand and surf, before high season while the rates are lower. Recommended!)