Photo: Becky Beck

It’s August, which means school will begin soon and we will start looking forward to next year’s summer.   I only live 16 miles from the coast, so in May I had these grand ideas of beach days filled with sand castles and swimming every weekend in the town pool with my two year old daughter.  Potty training happened, work happened, life happened, and I went to the beach 3 times in 3 months.

What. The. F.

Why is it so hard to live in the present?  Everything seems to get in the way.

In my car, Carrie Underwood’s song “The Clock Don’t Stop” was playing and that was it.  Carrie brought on a full-blown mommy meltdown.  My bra was damp from all the tears rolling down into my v-neck because she was right.  The clock don’t stop.  If I don’t get a grasp on being present and in the moment with my daughter, I’m going to blink and she’s going to be a teenager.

This past weekend I did the unthinkable.  I threw out the rules and took the family to the beach for sunset.  Yes, sunset.  My brain raged.

“But what about the traffic?”  Oh well.

“What if she falls asleep on the car ride home?”  Blessing?

“Is there a place to pull over on the PCH for a potty break?”  We’ll find out.

We were gone.   Routine out the window.  We were officially in the moment!  I know it sounds silly.  A mini road trip down to the water.  But for me it worked.

We sat on our blanket, horsed around with Gaston impersonations, my daughter only ate (sandy) chips for dinner, and we watched the sky turn pink.

Sure, we blew way past bedtime but catching that sunset with my family was my moment. I gotta tell ya, I didn’t just feel like a good mom.  I felt like a great mom. It was perfect.

This tiny decision might not sound like much, but for me it was just what I needed.  Maybe what they say is true, “when you string together enough great moments you end up with a great life.”

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