We ventured today to the scene of some of our earliest family memories in Iquique. Playa Los Lobitos, or Beach of the Little Sea Lions, was a frequent haunt when we first moved to northern Chile. ("Lobitos" posts from our first year can be found here, here, here and here.) Over time, however, we grew disillusioned by the descuido (lack of care and maintenance) of the beach. We spent more time warning children away from broken glass, remains of burned tires, and rusty cutlery left behind by campers than enjoying the beautiful views. Eventually we stopped visiting altogether.
But today we re-discovered the magic.
With Grandma and Grandpa Garcia, we returned to Los Lobitos and introduced them to traipsing up sand dunes and climbing up rocks. We took pictures and made memories. What started out awkwardly (with the dog escaping and children melting down in dismay and subsequent retrieval of one naughty terrier) ended up wonderfully. There was laughter and smiles and fresh sea air and socks full of sand.
My favorite memory of today came from Ian. All of us but Eva and the dog had ventured out on the rocks near the water's edge. We found seats close enough to catch the mist from crashing waves but far enough to be safe from the powerful Pacific. Ian was thrilled by the adrenaline of being so close to the action but he was also a bit nervous. With all sincerity he asked, "Mommy, can I pray so God keeps us safe?" And then he proceed to ask God to keep his family from "being washed away so we can all be together." It was so precious!
Our time together was "just what the doctor ordered" to smooth the ragged edges of some rough days with tired and emotional kiddos. It was also the perfect start to a special week of Chilean Independence Day celebrations and time off school. Here's hoping we make many more family memories - and here's thanking God that He does keep us safe, every day, in every way.