A Goodbye and a Promise

The routine never wavered – head to the beach and stay until the ocean swallowed the sun, always hoping to wring out 30 more minutes from the day.

We emptied five bottles of sunscreen that week, yet emerged with tans dark enough to make a dermatologist wail.  The kids’ hair bleached white by the sun, framed eyebrows so light they disappeared into golden faces.

We tried to slow the last sunset – for just one more wave, one more sand castle, one more walk along the shore.  When at last it was time to go, we paused, whispering both a goodbye and a promise: we’ll be back…