He'd heard the word almost every hour on the hour during the weeks leaving up to the trip. If asked the little boy would scream on command "TO THE BEECH" , yet his parents could never be sure just want the word meant to him. Although he'd been there the year before, he was a different person now. No longer a baby, half as tall as his momma, the two year old he had grown into was in a lot of ways seeing the world for the first time.
It was late when they arrived, but with an enthusiasm that mirrored that of the young boy between them Mom and Dad couldn't wait till daybreak to see the place they had been dreaming about countless nights since they last left. They wondered how he would react to the waves crashing against the sand.
Much like the word strawberry meant nothing to him until he tasted the fruit or the word banana lacked significance until he was able to hold one in his hands and pull back the layers; the beach was nothing more than something he had learned would guarantee a smile on the faces around him when it was spoken.
The night was perfect for first time beach combers. A sky filled with the twinkle of a million stars and the brightest moon ever to have lit up the night made it impossible to tell if what he was looking at was a dream or a new found reality. The sand felt cool on his toes as he began to notice a squeaking noise with each footstep as if somewhere behind him several windows were being washed all at once.
With a gentle breeze coming from the right and no fear of the darkness that surrounded him, the little boy looking at the great big ocean for the very first time and could only utter one word. So silently that if they had not been paying close attention they would have surely missed it, mom and dad heard their first born say what they too were thinking at that very moment..."wow"
As the three of them stood there staring across the waters of the Gulf on that cool ocean night, the world and all it's trials became extinct. All the heartaches, headaches, and hard times that filled the spaces in between that moment and the last time they stood on the sandy shore a year earlier became trivial and meaningless. All that mattered to the mom and dad were those two hands that were clamped tightly between them. And all they could say was the same word uttered by the little boy with the long curly hair who was in a lot of ways seeing the world for the very first time...."wow"