Long before I bought our home in Rehoboth Beach my parents lay my roots. Roots of possibility and potential, of dreams and hard work, of faith and family. Life was hard and easy because of my parents steadfastness and their belief that their children would achieve and that their love would bind us always.
When you leave a place, like really leave a place, packing up all your belongings and treasures into what you can carry knowing you will never return.
When you struggle, persist, adapt.
When you see your children realizing your dream.
This is not unique to me or my family, it is the story of every immigrant.
I always envied friends that had extended family, that had generations to reference, that had traditions and family homes, that had roots.
Anthony and I have been taking our kids to Rehoboth Beach, DE since Lucas was five months old. Each year we return because we love the place; the saltwater air and crashing waves but also the charming shops and restaurants that make this place a city-beach town. A day at Rehoboth is crepes at Cafe Papillon with a Rise Up nitro coffee, a greasy sub from Gus and Gus with Thrashers fries, me shopping at Sole Boutique and Bella Luna while the kids hit Candy Kitchen and Gidget’s Gadgets, Muffin Mania and Beach Ball Toss at Funland, dinner at Henlopen Oyster House or Lupo’s or Stingray or Salt Air followed by gelati or Kohr Brothers or funnel cake, skeeball, bumper cars, endless hours at Zelky’s and armfuls of stuffed toys. Over the past few years Anthony and I have discussed buying a second home and as we reflected on locations it was an easy decision to pick this place that had unknowingly become our second hometown.
Traditions are predictable and create connection and while the traditions we’ve made with our children draws us here the future conversations where Penny says “Remember when I won my first Squishmallow in Beach Ball Toss?” or Oliver says “I want to see that black and white movie again that was playing at Lupo’s.” or Lucas says “Remember the surry bike ride when we were so heavy Dad could barely move us?” and the traditions they’ll carry forward are what has made us lay down our roots here.
Deep roots of tradition, of family, of values, of generations to come.
“Oh when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof
And your shoes get so hot you wish your tired feet were fire proof
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I’ll be