Saturday, October 10, 2009
A "before" day
A day at the beach
Grand Bend, ON, September 2009 [Click all images to enlarge]
My wife and I believe in simple traditions, one of which revolves around going to the beach on the last day of summer vacation. It's a tangible way for us to transition from the relatively unstructured to the completely structured. More importantly, it's something we think - hope? - our munchkins will carry with them until long after they're munchkins. Simple moments, after all, seem to stick with us far longer than any others.
So we loaded the wondervan with our most treasured things - the kids - and headed north to the shores of Lake Huron. The weather wasn't promising, with low clouds dimming the Tim Horton's parking lot - another tradition - as we topped the little people off with breakfast. Predictions of rain only added to the "Why are we doing this?" mantra that hung over the day. But still, we went. Because traditions are traditions.
The beach, as predicted, was virtually empty. As we unloaded the boogie boards, towels and chairs van in the near-empty parking lot, my wife and I fretted quietly about the weather. The kids? Didn't care at all. They shrieked happily that they had the whole beach to themselves.
In the end, it didn't rain. But weather-fearing wannabe-beachgoers stayed away in droves, anyway. As ever, the kids frolicked in the chilly water. As ever, I took pictures of them. As ever, I took pictures of random birds and waves, as well. It was a typical Levy day at the beach, and as we carted our tired crew home through the achingly beautiful agricultural hinterlands of southestern Ontario, we knew we had succeeded in creating another memory for them.
As I look back at this day, Monday, September 7, 2009, Labour Day, I can't help but think of it as a so-called "before day". A day when we knew no better, when we had no idea that our world would soon change, when we simply enjoyed without worry. A few days later, my parents came to visit, and reviewing pictures of this day, and of the similarly sweet and simple time they spent with us at home, I wish I could go back to the moment these were all taken and freeze time.
In so many ways, the before days are infinitely preferable to the afters.