Since having kids, I've found the most difficult time of day to be between 3:30 and 5:30. Everyone's tired, including me, and a downward spiral of temperament and behaviour inevitably kicks in in those post-school, pre-dinner hours.
I'm loathe to turn on the television and don't want to venture out in rush-hour traffic. I've been looking for simple, restful activities and have recently discovered that a late afternoon visit to the beach can be just that.
The beach has a different mood in September than in summer. The boisterous stretches of sand and water have become serene.
We don't pack a picnic basket or beach toys. There's a lot of gazing at the water, thumb-sucking and quiet play.
We're soaking up every last bit of summer while we can. It won't be long until the afternoons bring wet leaves and early nightfall, and I'll be on the lookout for other ways to occupy three little ones and their spent mother.