A few weeks ago we’d had enough of winter and cold and thick jackets and scarves and hats, so when Aidan’s preschool closed for a week-long holiday, we decided it was time for his first trip to the seaside. The three of us piled into the car and drove for nearly eight hours to get to Scottburgh in Kwa-Zulu Natal, where it turns out that summer was still reigning in all its sunny glory.
We stayed in a lovely hotel on a hilltop with a fantastic view of the ocean. Aidan’s cot was right next to the window and as soon as he realised he could see outside he was hooked. We would often find him just standing by the window, staring out at the sea.
Our little one has very white delicate skin, so we tried to keep him out of the sun as much as possible. Of course we slathered him in sunscreen lotion, but he quickly developed a heat rash and seemed to be somewhat allergic to the lotion itself, which meant that our excursions to the beach were limited to after 15:00, when the sun’s rays weren’t quite as damaging anymore.
Even though it was winter, it was school holidays and we expected the beach to be a lot busier than it actually was, which was a pleasant surprise. Scottburgh’s beach turned out to be the perfect place to introduce Aidan to the ocean. The curve of the rocks creates a tiny little bay where the water laps gently to the sand. I think it was low tide when we were there, which meant that the water was fairly calm and didn’t try to pull you in too much.
We found a little spot of sand where we laid down our towels. Aidan has a sandbox at home and he wasted no time in picking up a spade and digging for treasure.
Gareth tried to teach him how to build sandcastles, but the little one was much more interested in destroying them!
Then it was time to head for the water! Aidan only recently started walking, so he was still a little wobbly on his feet. We helped him walk across the wet sand and held him up in the water. As the cold sea water washed across his toes, he seemed slightly unsure about the whole business, but he soon grew to love it.
After a while it was all I could do to stop him from running deeper and deeper into the ocean! I think we may have started something here, perhaps a lifelong fascination with the sea. For all we know, this little one may turn out to be a marine biologist, or an avid surfer, one day.
What I do know, however, is that three days by the seaside was not enough. It was a joy to see Aidan enjoying the sand and the sea so much and I’m sure those few short hours we spent there was the highlight of his days.
Do you enjoy seaside holidays? Have you taken your little ones to see the ocean? Did they enjoy it as much as Aidan did?