Looking at a familiar place with new eyes

“This is so fun,” she squealed, sifting sand into a pail of water. Moments later she repeated the sentiment: “This is SO fun!”

Hours earlier, Lexi walked out of school with an entire year of kindergarten behind her. As the tiny humans showered one another with affection, shouting “have a good summer … see you next year,” I had one of those Mom-moments, where everything transpiring around you is bittersweet.

Growth is such a funny concept to observe as a parent and I wonder if it’s because, we watch our children sail through these milestones without looking back. Without aching over the goodbyes. It’s simply … how it is. The acceptance a child innately possesses makes you wonder, how can we be more like that? Sometimes, as adults, it takes soaking in the resilience of someone half our size to inspire our own growth.

I sat on a towel behind my daughter, watching her delight in this simple activity, one she had done so many times. In that moment I was reminded why I began this digital detox: being able to find joy in simplicity is contagious. I looked beyond my precious view to take in the ever-familiar sight of waves lapping the shore of Sand Beach. A brown band of seaweed caught my eye as it slowly drifted across the sea, eventually settling nearby in the wet sand, replacing footprints of beach-goers.


Observing the details around us, the ones naturally in place, made me forget how many times my feet had felt the warmth of this sand. Right there, I vowed to treat every place, each adventure this summer as if I’d never been there before … just like Lexi loads her sand bucket like it’s her first time.

When I embraced a different perspective, the perspective of a child, it was easy to recognize the beauty surrounding us … whether it’s discovering just how many shades of blue decorate the ocean or feeling the warmth of the sun after dipping your toes into the bone-chilling Atlantic.


As we put the finishing touches on our sandcastle and inhaled one last taste of the salty air, I thought to myself: this was so fun.


Erinne Magee

About Erinne Magee

Erinne is a Maine-based writer and freelance editor specializing in first person essays, poetry and picture books. Her work has appeared in publications like: The Washington Post, Redbook, Yahoo News, The Huffington Post, Good Housekeeping and The Toronto Sun. For more, visit: www.erinnemagee.com