Yesterday I sat on the beach staring out at the gorgeous blues and teals of the water, and the stark white foam of the pounding surf on the golden sand.

One son was basking in the water, fearless as wave after wave tried to knock him down. He is only eleven but he deftly dove down before each wave hit him and popped back up with a triumphant smile. Another son headed off toward the jetty to try to capture the beauty of the day on his camera. Yet another son had already come and gone with neighbor kids in tow. The fourth and final son was enjoying fried food and thrill rides at the county fair. Summer is as good as it gets. I think Andy Williams should have been singing about summer when he sang “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Summer is a carefree time.

Many families make the time to get to a beach once in awhile. I watched a small girl at the beach in her pastel rainbow bikini. She was leaping on the sand over and over, throwing her hands in the air. Just happy to be alive. I imagined when it was time to go home the girl would cry as kids often do, disappointed to leave paradise.  She would go home, bathe and relax until dinner. This will be a regular routine for her until it is time to return to school. Year in and year out she will glory in the freedom of summers until she she is old enough to get a job. Then one day, she might become a mother and take her own kids to the beach. Summers will mean a little more work for her because the kids will be home and need constant supervision and entertainment. Eventually the kids will grow up and she will occasionally take grandchildren to the beach. One day, her children will bring her to look at the beach from the warmth of the car or a bench near the sand.

Life goes by so fast.

It’s so important to get outside and appreciate the beauty this planet holds. To reminisce about wonderful memories. Make time to create new memories with those you love. Everything changes and everything ultimately ends. If you are caregiving today, find time to be outside for as long as you can. If it’s too warm where you live, wait until the warm evening and venture out to savor the sounds of insects and look at stars in the sky. Just enjoy some summer. And try to include the person you care for if you can. Bring them out with you or bring some summer to them. Here are questions to spark a small mental vacation and bring a smile to their face: “What is one of your favorite summer memories? Did you ever have a special summer vacation? Did you ever take kids to the beach? Have you seen fireflies?”

Everyone deserves a taste of the most wonderful time of the year!

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