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Tiaras and Trucks

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Through Their Eyes

Sand!  The RemembeRED prompt this week had to do with sand, and with vacation on my mind, and sun outside, I couldn't help adding this to my "must-do" list!

Tawny grains, countless, clung to the tops of my feet and the spaces between my toes, and I dreaded the moment my mom would insist we bathe our feet and legs at the junction between beach and oven-like concrete.

The little silver spigot spit out water, always ice cold, that chased away the sand and bits of seaweed marking the hours we had spent splashing in the water and crouching in the sand, building intricate moats and canals surrounding rudimentary castles.

My feet seemed naked and cold in my childhood sandals without that armor of sand keeping them warm, and I didn’t understand why we had to chase away the remnants of the day with that icy water.

The mystery of my mother’s fascination with the ritual cleansing revealed itself years, and countless beach trips, later. I am the one finding and cleaning bandit grains of sand for days and weeks after spending a day at the beach.

I live in a state surrounded by a multitude of water, the Great Lakes State, but I used to scoff at our beaches, wishing we could be back in Hawaii with its exotic lava beaches or Mexico with its soft, fine, sugary sand.

Abbey has never been to Ka’anapali Beach or Playa del Carmen or Tampa or Cape Cod or any of the exotic locations found on the Travel Channel.

But she knows that as the seasons change and the last vestiges of daylight peek through her black-out curtains at night, we begin to plan our annual trek to the west side of the state, or as she calls it, “going to the beach with Uncle Joe and Aunt Amanda.”

Dylan has never known a time when his parents and their friends could throw some beer and food into a cooler after a long, late night and spend the day alternating between lounge chairs and beach towels, breaking the routine only to toss around a football or wander down to the water to get some relief from the heat, tentatively exposing heat soaked skin to still-cool lake water.

But he knows the shade of an oversized umbrella and the peals of laughter that announce his sister’s return from the water’s edge with another sand pail filled with a mixture of water and sand to try to make castles and shapes near the beach blanket.

They have never known the stinging pain of too much sun on their shoulders. Lathered and sprayed and covered and shielded, yellow beams of sun bring only heat and warmth and maybe a need for Hello Kitty sunglasses.

They have never known the anxiety of swimsuit shopping, scrutinizing their bodies from every angle and finally just hoping that fabulous sunglasses will make up for the multitude of faults, real and imaginary that are seen in the mirror. She only knows the joy of a princess bathing suit pulled tight over the childish roundness of her tummy. He only knows the satisfactory thumps he can make by smacking his little palms against a belly finally left uncovered by a onesie.

Watching Dylan squint happily in the sun, looking quietly up at Ryan, I forget about the pounds and pounds of gear we precariously pulled over the sand and will have to pull back.

Watching Abbey run forward in glee, then dive headfirst into the sand, rolling around until she’s covered, I forget about the grains and grains of sand I will have to rub out of my lip gloss and spit out of my lunch.

Watching them, I forget about the feeling of not-good-enough I felt when I put on my bathing suit. I enjoy Amanda’s deliciously crispy, homemade pita chips and baba ganoush and appreciate that my body is alive and strong and able to cradle Abbey in my arms when the water is too cold for her to walk.

Watching them, I bury my feet in the sand, letting it cling to my skin, and I don’t wash it off as we walk to the car, instead letting it dry in the sun and slide silently back to the ground.




though originally a RemembeRED prompt, I'm linking with Miss Elaine-ous Monday
I need the reminder a little lately and maybe it will strike a chord with you, too

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38 Comments:

  • At May 10, 2011 at 7:34 AM , Anonymous Kelli @ No. 7 said...

    I am one of the worlds biggest neat freaks...with three children and living 10 miles from our favorite beach in Maine. Needless to say, I've given up on the battle with sand. It is a semi-annoying summer guest that I have learned to live with. Much to my mother's chagrin...when she visits the sandy car, children and tote bags make her crazy. I kind of like that :)

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 9:02 AM , Anonymous Kim said...

    This same thing has happened to me as well. Before my babies, the beach evoked strong feelings of inadequacy and shame. I used to be so hard on my imperfect figure. Now I look at my two boys and give myself a pat on the back for growing such perfect creatures in this body of mine. And then I put on my pretty beach tunic and enjoy a family outing.

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 9:06 AM , Anonymous Sue Markiewicz said...

    Hi Angie - remember me! I just wanted to let you know how much I love reading your blogs! Although my children are well beyond trucks or tiaras..... your articles bring back some wonderful memories of their youth. You're an excellent writer. I wish we had had this wonderful source of support when my children were younger. Again, I'm so impressed with your writing and insights!
    Thanks, Sue Markiewicz

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 9:42 AM , Anonymous Kir said...

    oh wow!!!! this was gorgeous (as always) but the words and the images brought me right to this place, I could feel the sand and the sun. I heard the giggles and saw the sandcastles, I even felt the pull of being single as oppossed to being parents and how that changes a "day at the beach" . I can't wait for summer now.
    xo

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 11:12 AM , Anonymous Amy said...

    This is growing up in MI. You described it perfectly and beautifully!


    My kids haven't been sunburned either! Funny how cautious we are of it and didn't care before huh!


    Have a great vacation!

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 11:58 AM , Anonymous From Tracie said...

    Such great imagery and beauty you have shared here.

    When I was a kid, my mom always made us rinse off in those little beach shower areas, and that water was always COLD! I didn't understand why she made us do it, either.

    I love how you took the beauty and simplicity of childhood and juxtaposed it with your memories of beach times and the good and bad feelings that those beach times can bring up.

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 12:01 PM , Anonymous Leighann said...

    This is beautiful. Every word is descriptive and perfectly placed.
    I love it.
    Especially the end when you let the sand dry and fall off your skin. Beautiful.

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 2:28 PM , Anonymous MommyLisa said...

    I love the description of the sand on your feet as a child. I could see and feel that sand. ;)

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 3:11 PM , Anonymous My Pajamadays said...

    I love the images of your children - beautiful words. I think what I love the most is how you came full circle and said, " I forget about the feeling of not-good-enough". A lesson all of us moms need to be reminded.

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 3:45 PM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    Oh honey, this is gorgeous! Your descriptions, the meaning behind each memory.

    I adore that you came full circle to your children, their views, experiences, and joys. Sometimes it takes their eyes to heal, doesn't it?

    And babaganoush? YUM! XO

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 4:52 PM , Anonymous Cheryl said...

    Love the images - and yes, I can still feel that cold water washing off my feet!

    I also have been stern in making me get over myself when it comes to wearing a bathing suit. No one's looking at a middle-aged woman w/ three little kids, right?

    Btw, baby powder is your friend. Takes sand off like a dream and it smells good, too!

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 5:59 PM , Anonymous le chef said...

    Sigh. I miss those days of carefree play. I still go play at the beach though. Only now I wear shorts and drag my kids and dogs. I have to clan sand for days as well. :)

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 7:34 PM , Anonymous J. Bruno said...

    What great memories to record. Makes me so eager to have my own little boogers. :-)

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:10 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    You will Jen! You'll be digging sand out of diapers yet :)

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:11 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Dogs must be sooooo messy to clean up!

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:13 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Maybe I should wear a sign this weekend stating that I have two little kids when I'm at the pool in Vegas LOL!

    Baby powder, really? I should have known a California girl like you would have a sand solution!

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:14 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you so much my friend! And seriously, my friend Amanda makes such delicious treats for our beach trips.

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:14 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I'm working so hard on that, because I want to shield my daughter from those awful feelings of inadequacy about those silly things that don't really matter in the long run.

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:15 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you! I loved that feeling so much.

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:16 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you so much. So what that some of it falls off and grinds forever into the floor mats of my car?

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:17 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you! It's funny how I am starting to see the method behind my mom's madness as I navigate through motherhood myself.

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:17 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Amy; we are so looking forward to it and are so nervous about leaving at the same time!

    I have been sunburned eight million times at least.

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:19 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Isn't it funny how little people need so much stuff? No more throwing a towel, a copy of In Style and some sunscreen in a bag anymore!
    Summer in Michigan will take another month at least :(

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:20 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Hi Sue! Your kids are just driving trucks now :) Thanks so much for saying hi and letting me know you enjoy it here!

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:21 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    And I try to remember how our kids love us so much in the bodies we're in, not because of our beauty or our flaws but because we are their moms, and THAT is beautiful to them.

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:22 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    But 10 miles would be so lovely. I would have to reserve a parking spot!

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 8:30 PM , Anonymous Renee said...

    You've just given me a day at the beach. So well done.
    And I love that you leave the sand on your feet now.

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous shellthings said...

    Through their eyes, we get a much better perspective sometimes!

     
  • At May 11, 2011 at 7:28 AM , Anonymous Paulette Watson said...

    What a lovely post! I enjoyed my day at the beach through your kids eyes!

     
  • At May 11, 2011 at 9:44 AM , Anonymous Kir said...

    Life used to be so much easier....when all we needed was InSTYLE. :)
    But I don't miss it that much .....yet. ......

    :)





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    Kirsten Anne Piccini
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    What is Real?
    "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." - from the Velveteen Rabbit by M Williams

     
  • At May 11, 2011 at 4:13 PM , Anonymous Jane George said...

    really beautifully written, you have a real way with words. i loved your memories moving us forward to now. so glad i stopped by from trdc xx

     
  • At May 12, 2011 at 12:21 AM , Anonymous JennaFarelyn said...

    beautiful perspective!

     
  • At May 15, 2011 at 9:26 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you :) 

     
  • At May 15, 2011 at 9:27 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you for stopping by.  Things have changed so much, but I love the place we're in right now. 

     
  • At May 15, 2011 at 9:27 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you!  I wish we could get there more.  Abbey LOVES it, and I think he'll love it even more this year when he can run around. 

     
  • At May 15, 2011 at 9:28 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Their perspective is so refreshing and uncomplicated :) 

     
  • At May 15, 2011 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    It's raining and kind of cold again here, so a day at the beach is a lovely idea! 

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 1:13 PM , Anonymous Elaine A. said...

    I really like the comparison of your childhood adventures to that of your kids'.  I remember my Mom complaining about all the sand too.  I smiled the other day when I found Florida sand in a bag in the garage when I was cleaning out a bit.  Such great memories here... 

    Thanks again for linking up, my friend and esp. this post since I missed it!! 

     

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