An excerpt

from last summer:
Today was a typical day at the beach.

You know, it was hot.

We read.

We relaxed.

And braced for a tornado.


You mean you’re not used to doing that at 4pm on a Sunday?

Yeah, neither are we.

When the news broke of the Tornado Warning,

my Poppop kicked into high gear.

I was otherwise occupied,

you know,


so, when I answered his call downstairs,

I found him in a pitch black family room,

the shades all drawn,

the electronics all turned off,

and the family being herded down the stairs into the lower level den.

We were twister-ready.

But, there was still milk needing to be pumped.

I was not, however, allowed to stay upstairs to do my pumping in privacy,

you know, with the tornado and all,

so I ended up standing in the downstairs bathroom,

pump in hand,

as the thunder roared around us.

My grandparents, husband, baby and two dogs all huddled on the couches,

waiting for the storm to pass.

I listened, from my perch in the powder room,

as they gave the baby kisses,

sang her songs,

made her giggle,

and told her how much they loved her.

And as I stood there, watching them from a distance,

my heart filled up with incredible love for the people in that room.

I peaked out and saw my baby sitting on my Poppop’s knees,

as he cooed with her,

telling her how pretty she looked,

which, of course, made her smile and beam.

Smart girl.

My heart swelled,

as I felt so grateful that my grandparents were able to share this special moment with my daughter;

a little moment,

so precious,

and pure,

and wrapped up,

in the coziness of a family room,

a sanctuary

in the storm.

“Listen, you guys,” I called from the bathroom.

“You need to take really good care of yourselves, because I fully expect you to be at her Bat Mitzvah.”

“It’s funny,” my Poppop replied. “Just as you said that, I was sitting here thinking, boy do I wish I could be here to see her grow up.”

And then I cried.

They didn’t know it,

but I stood,

in the bathroom,

with the breast pump,

in the raging thunderstorm,

with tears streaming down my cheeks.

I hope,

with all of my heart,

that my grandparents do get to see my daughter grow up,

and turn from a little baby

into a little lady.

But, no matter where the years take us,

I know that we have shared some amazing things together already.

We’ve shared family dinners,

and walks on the boardwalk,

shopping sprees,

and sing-alongs.

And, just today,

we’ve shared a small,



during a storm.
And now, on this less stormy, but no less love-filled summer evening,
as I’m once again under the same roof as these people whom I hold so dear,
I can’t help but to feel grateful,
that my cherished grandparents are getting to see their little baby
turn into a big girl.
Today, as she greeted them by name;
as she scooted up and down the street on her little ride-on train;
as she stuffed her face with spaghetti and meatballs;
as she held our hands and took steps across the sand;
I realized that this year has taken us to a most wonderful place.
As has this weekend.
There is no place like the beach.
There is no place like home.

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