Growing up in Southern California, my summers were very much about beach days. Less when I was a child - I think toting four little kids and tons of gear to the beach just for one day wasn't really worth it for my parents. But as I got older, especially into my driving years, beach days were easier and more appreciated by all. Then I got married to a San Diegan surfer, and a couple years later we moved to the beach. Beach days became one of our main activities for days with nothing else to do.
Fast forward to this summer. Being seven, eight, and nine months pregnant has sucked some energy out of me. Conrad still has surf days. His favorite is how the sun doesn't set until 8:00. He'll come home from work and still have three hours to go surf before it gets dark. I usually stay home. I can't really go in the ocean (I could, but mostly don't want to), and sitting on the beach alone waiting for someone just hasn't been calling my name.
And remember how I was so excited to be pregnant in the summer so I could spend all my days at the beach with my belly in a hole in the sand? That didn't quite go as planned. Turns out, that's one of the more uncomfortable positions, since the belly is so heavy. You don't want it hanging below you in a hole, lest you risk a terrible back-ache for two days. So I've kind of avoided the beach.
But on Saturday (oh, Saturdays and Sundays, I've got so much love for those days), it was perfectly grey outside, so we decided to bring our little beach chairs, our books, some muffins, a water bottle, and a couple towels (for warmth more than for drying) and head to la plage. We went for a long and very, very slow walk on the rocky beach. I was hoping it might bring some contractions my way, but it really only brought me a swollen foot and a sore hip. I'm such an old lady. Conrad kept turning to me from a few paces ahead and asking, "Are you good? Do you want to turn around?" I felt fine, so we just kept going until after probably a mile, he said (didn't ask), "We should turn around. It's kind of a long way back."
The wisdom of my husband knows no bounds. I was fine about a third of the way back, and that's when the hip went stiff and the foot went purple and fat, and somehow the rocks got sharper. If I was going slow before, I was absolutely crawling now. Nevertheless, we made it back to our chairs, sat with our feet on the warm sand in the cool breeze, and read our books together. When Conrad got cold from the 6:00-in-the-evening ocean breeze (I never get cold these days), we scooted our chairs together and draped a single towel over our laps. Arms and feet touching, we read some more. Then we watched the lone surfer and the lone swimmer navigate the horribly choppy and cold water, and we laughed at them when they fell, and we leaned in and kissed each other about a million times, and it was the greatest Saturday, and now I'm ready to have a baby.