This is a total cliche but I will say it anyway: sometimes, the best stuff is the simplest stuff. This applies to so many aspects of life and especially with kids - like how they can end up liking the wrapping more than the presents, for example. Another example is what happened to Sody and me yesterday. We went to the beach. I didn't really set out to make a trip to the beach, but that's where we ended up and it was perfect. What I had originally set out to do was to get some actual exercise for once: get Sody in the jogging stroller and run the trail along the beach right by our house. However, I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination so this turned into more of a brisk walk pretty quickly. And when I got tired of that I took Isota over to the sand to check out the beach.
We live so close but for some reason don't head over there much. So I wasn't quite prepared by how much she would love it now: the wet sand that is so different from park sand, the way you can poke your hands in and glop the sand around, the seaweed and the little shell fragments and most of all the water. She had so much fun just walking down along the water's edge, getting her feet and hands wet and greeting passersby. Part of me was kicking myself for not having my camera to capture her happy little face in the sunshine, and another part of me was glad I didn't have anything there to distract me from taking it all in with her. The air was clear and the sun was out and the SF skyline was ahead of us and we were just stupidly happy to be outside by the water. She ended up soaked and sandy from the waist down and I was sort of cursing the cleanup when we got home, but it was all so totally worth it.
Sometimes I feel guilty that I am not able to give Sody certain experiences. When I was a full time nanny I took my young charges to various (expensive) activities like Gymboree and music classes and I kind of wish that I had the time and money to take my own daughter to those type of things now. But I snap out of it pretty quickly, knowing that she doesn't need expensive classes to have fun, she just needs me and my time. And a simple, perfectly free, long expanse of beach.