As parents we’ve been awake before sunrise more times than I could possibly count, but I can’t remember the last time I actually saw the sun rise. I have this foggy childhood memory of early morning trips to cook breakfast on the beach with my Nanny and Granddad, snuggled up on fold out chairs under big thick blankets and enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the sea before most people were out and about. There was something so exciting about it and it’s something that I’ve always had in the back of mind mind as a tradition to recreate with my own children one day. Quite why the idea decided to strike me on a Friday afternoon in January I’m not sure, but once I had the thought in my head it just wouldn’t go away. I wasn’t quite brave enough to attempt bacon and eggs on a camp stove this time, but watching the sunrise with a mug of something warm I could definitely manage. So that is how we ended up bundling three children in the car at 7.30am on Saturday morning with a flask of hot chocolate and a random selection of mugs chucked in my handbag, and making the short drive down to the beach.
On the way to making it out the door I was getting worried we were going to miss the sunrise completely. I didn’t realise how light it gets outside even before the sun has begun to emerge from over the horizon. So I was panicking we were going to be too late and hurrying everyone along, rushing to stuff feet into shoes and hats onto heads, little fingers into little gloves, put on three sets of jumpers, three sets of coats… it was frenzied and chaotic but that just added to the excitement.
We got to the beach and it was absolutely freezing but the sky looked beautiful and there was such a sense of stillness and calm, it really felt magical. I hastily poured the girls some hot chocolate to warm them up while Carl tried to keep Ernie warm but after about 10 minutes they had all had enough so we started to head back to the car where everyone could be a little bit warmer while we watched the sun start to peek out of the sea like a big red ball.
Mabel and Greta were amazed by the sun rising, it truly was beautiful, and I think they then finally understood why we were there so early in the morning, freezing our little bums off.
To be honest though, no one was as enamoured with the sunrise as me. I left that beach feeling so uplifted, so content, so happy. It put me in such a good mood for the whole day. I LOVED being up and out of the house before the sun, and I am not and have never been a morning person. In fact I loved it so much I think I’m going to make it a personal mission to see how many sunrises I can see this year.
I read something on Facebook today about unschooling and it was basically saying to live your life as if it is your last year with your child. Give them all the experiences that you would give them if it was your last winter with them, your last spring, last summer, last Autumn. And then do it again, year after year. I loved it because that’s exactly how I want to try to live, having as many adventures as possible, squeezing as many experiences as we can into our children’s childhood.
That’s the kind of childhood that I had, mostly because of my wonderful Nanny and Granddad, and because of them I can say with the greatest confidence that adventures aren’t just about holidays to far flung places or expensive theme parks (although they are fun too). Adventure can be found in the simplest of life’s pleasures… like getting up early to watch the sunrise.
We also made a little video of our quick early morning adventure if you fancied having a look…
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