Bird’s first trip to the beach wasn’t quite a success. In fact, I think all of us (my parents, sister, niece, Carter, and I) were left needing a vacation from vacation. Carter wasn’t a big fan of the sun and the sand this first time around, and he definitely wasn’t a fan of the hotel room. He wanted to be back in his own bed — so much like his mama.

Still, it had been too long since I’d experienced that flood of emotions that comes with standing in front of the ocean. Cliché as it is, there’s no denying that cup-runneth-over sensation. Ankle deep in saltwater, holding the small person who just this time last year was beginning to give me belly thumps from the inside out, I let gravity pull my heels into the sand.

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