I spent a week of summer vacation at the beach with my family.
My parents, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and I loaded our cars and caravaned to Surfside Beach, a tiny town nestled on the Texas coast. We stayed in a rented beach house named the “Boat House,” a blue dwelling situated on Coconut Road off the Blue Water Highway.
For most people, a trip to the beach doesn’t seem that unusual. However, this was the 17th year my family spent our annual week on the coast.
Most of my favorite memories growing up involved spending time with my family. My grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles all lived close enough that I could see them throughout the year, not just on the holidays.
I didn’t just have one Thanksgiving and one Christmas per year, I had three. One at home and two with each set of grandparents. Everyone made it a priority to be there.
In addition to a beach trip with my mom’s side of the family, we went on ski trips in Colorado every other year with my dad’s side.
Beginning in kindergarten, my papa took me to every high school pep rally until I was in seventh grade. Afterwards he would take me to Sonic and let me order whatever I wanted.
My cousins and I spent our time playing outside, climbing trees, inventing new games, watching Disney movies and trying to beat the “Oregon Trail” computer game in one sitting.
There were picnics, cook-outs, Sunday lunches, 4th of July parades, family photo sessions, worship song sing-alongs, road trips, game nights and hours spent sharing stories.
My parents emphasized the importance of spending time together. When I was still in high school I sometimes resented this. But as soon as I came to college I realized just how special my family is and how much they mean to me.
Now every moment I get to spend with them seems even more special.
I’m not saying my family is perfect. We have our quirks and flaws, just like every other family.
Those happy moments I shared with my family are not gone. I’ve just been given different opportunities to make new ones.
So I will take advantage of every opportunity I have to stay in the blue house on Coconut Road.