In 2014, our family found out that our son would be attending a different high school, in a neighboring town. He was devastated to leave his group of close-knit friends. These boys had been as thick as thieves since elementary school.
We wanted to give the boys one last summer hurrah, and booked a large house at Seabrook. All six boys came. They rode bikes, roasted marshmallows, played board games, and swam in the ocean. We watched the joy and freedom on their faces. We heard them late at night discussing their anxiety regarding high school, and listened to them consoling each other. The vacation was an investment on our part, but worth it because at the end of the week, we felt the boys had a deeper connection, and our son felt good about going to a different school, knowing his friends would always be there for him.
The next April, I was a bit surprised when a few of the boys who were over at our house asked, “What days are we going to Seabrook this year?” We hadn’t been planning to take them again, but I could tell by their faces that this was important.
It’s been five summers since we began this tradition. Every summer since we started, all of the boys have returned with our family to Seabrook. This past July, I watched these 18 and 19 year old boys playing cops and robbers as they rode their bikes around town. They bobbed up and down in the pool calling out, “Marco” and “Polo.” The boys set up elaborate board games using candy from the sweet shop as bargaining chips. These young men spent hours down on the beach, learning how to surf and burying each other in the sand. What began several years ago as a few days of fun for our son, became a tradition and time for all of the boys to experience a bit of childhood again.
We are very grateful for the opportunity Seabrook provides for family time. I look for forward to next year’s trip, and hearing how the boys have weathered their first year of college.