Monday, March 11, 2013

{The Beach} Time with Grace

A normal Wednesday morning that becomes a special day. Ian is working from home and Sophia is sleeping better and taking a bottle, permitting me a window of freedom. I hustle around the house, gathering the necessary items. I feed Sophia, change into my bathing suit, and shepherd Grace out the door to the promise of water and sand.

"This Little Light of Mine" plays on repeat during our twenty minute drive. Grace sits peacefully, without the constant requests for food, water, toys, and her paci.

The water laps at our feet and the sun burns brightly. The wind whips two wisps of hair into her eyes and she turns to me. "Eyes!"

Toes sink into the sand and play begins. A sacred dance of stepping into the water and back out, with laughter as our melody.

Sand is thrown into the water and it's okay. I've left the word "No," at the threshold of emergencies for the day.

Birds are chased. Castles are built. Stories are told. Songs are sung.

No TV.
No computers.
No iPhones.
No screens.

Not even my camera so that I can remain in the moment with her.

Focused, devoted play, and a daughter who appreciates every minute of it. I feel my heart in my throat and am hot with shame, she deserves so much more of time like this.

She dances to a rhythm that is all her own. Fingers pointed to the right and hips to the left. She jumps and catches just a tiny bit of air and laughs with glee.

The noun naming begins in her attempt to communicate with me.

Hat. Eyes. Toys. Water. Sun. Hot. Hair. Shirt. Friends. Play. Beach.

ILoveYou. All one word. Fast and without thinking, because it is exactly what she feels.

The sun reaches its apex and we sweat. Cookies are eaten and water is slurped down. Sticky hands grasp my face and she plants a kiss on my lips and runs away.

Our time winds down and she gathers her toys to me. Shows me the shells she has found. And also a bottle cap. Her treasures. We walk out of the sand to the car and shake and wipe until we are cleaner. She sits back into her car seat with a happy sigh and the cold air springs forth. She taps on the window at the shoreline.


That is the first time she has said beach. I smile and start the car. We sing veggie tales songs on the way home. She shouts "Hallelujah, Praise Ye the Lord."

And I second that. Praise the Lord for quiet, beautiful days like today. And for the loud, crazy, ugly days in between. And for my Gracie girl, all that she is and all that she is to be.


Lauren said...

oh girl, chills just ran down my spine reading this...what a beautiful illustration of such a wonderful simple time with your girl!

Unknown said...

devoted play---
i am on the journey of practiced intention with my family, my children and life in general. it's amazing the difference it makes when we put away "stuff" and just SEE our lives. taking time to notice and pay attention. it's a beautiful thing.

Susan said...

Sounds like a delightful day with your girl.

Memories to cherish!

Emily Powell said...

so fun! (And so glad S is taking a bottle. I know that must be nice!)

Alison H said...

Precious. I love this. And I'm SO ready to be back at the beach with my girl!

Callie said...

This is such a precious post - what a beautiful day with Grace.

The Zalks said...

LOVE! Sweet moments! Beautifully written =)