Jumping the Waves

Do you smell it?  That’s the salty sea air!


My brother’s words echoed through my mind as we finally turned the corner, the very corner I’ve turned one thousand times before.


Gasps of wonder escaped the small mouths behind me as we came face to face with the blues, greens, whites, and yellows that comprise our little slice of heaven along the Long Island sound.


What’s that smell?


Poor baby boy is used to smog and city smells, despite our close proximity to the beach.  One little mile is far enough that we only catch the scent of the ocean every once in a while.


That’s the smell of the ocean, sweet boy.  That’s the salty sea air.


In an instant, I was transported back to a simpler time.  I was 7 (maybe 8, maybe nine, pick a year…) and side-by-side with my siblings in the back of the Buick station wagon (the one with the faux wood sides and sparkly deep red paint) as we made our annual pilgrimage to our beach house the minute school got out for the summer.


As we turned the pivotal corner to catch our first glimpse of the water for the summer, we all pushed our way to the windows to smell the air and take in the colors.


Exchanging glances and knowing smiles, my brother and I made our declarations about the salty sea air, almost in unison.  It was the same script year after year, all part of the task of leaving the stress of real life behind in favor of sand, water, and life without shoes.


I see a boat!  I see trees!  I see the sand!


The excitement coming from the back of the car broke my trance and brought me back to the present tense.


Home again…


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About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes for PBS Parents, Washington Post Parents, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World" (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" (Penguin Random House, 2018)