The thought of summer immediately brings to mind hot dusty days spent riding horses, my mother's sun tea sitting in the window, and Seabrook Island, SC.
The first time I went to Seabrook I was only 9 weeks old. My parents took me down there after I was born to get away and be alone with their new baby girl. I don't think a year of my life has gone by where I haven't spent at least a week on the island. The place was a huge part of my childhood, and will always feel like home.
I've seen Seabrook change from a nearly bankrupt no mans land to the flourishing vacation destination that is it today. It has developed so much since I was a child that it almost feels like a different place. Almost. At the same time, nothing has changed at all. I remember going to the "piggly wiggly" to do our grocery shopping and catching crabs in the creak down the road. It's the place where I learned how to ride a bike, and the place I retreated for comfort in March of my senior year of college -- 5 months pregnant. Returning to this place I love year after year is something I can count on; it is a steady reality to the sometimes rocky trail that is my life. My words do no justice to the feelings I have for Seabrook; it is simply my favorite place in the world.
Sharing this love I have for the Low Country with my son is so thrilling. In some ways it is like I get to live my childhood, and summers spent under the Spanish moss, all over again. Having children makes you more responsible and dedicated and careful, but when it really comes down to it, your kids bring you back to your own childhood. Now that Jamesie is almost a year old, his need for constant entertainment and play has really brought out my inner 5-year old girl. I'm not fighting it.
I loved introducing James to all of the fun things I remembered loving about the Charleston area as a child. We walked the dog among the surf of North Beach in the mornings, and we spent hours at the beachside pool, splashing around in the fountain and even venturing down to the salt water a few times. We ate outside at the marina, watching the sun slowly set over the marsh. We went into Charleston and went on a carriage ride through the city - my favorite childhood pastime. As much as I look back on all the childhood memories I have of this place I cherish so deeply, I more so look forward to the new memories -- this time from the perspective of a mother.