You know that feeling when your feet hit the warm sand? And the warmth of the sun oozes into your skin?
I used to have a problem with sand. When my children were younger and I ATTEMPTED to bring them to the beach, it was always one big, huge, fucking mess. One would cry because sand got in his face, the other would cry because the water was burning his eyes, or they were thirsty and couldn’t drink because of the stupid sand, then they’d both cry together because it’s like a chain reaction and in order to avoid having child services called on my ass….
….I did what any not-so-normal mother would do.
I didn’t go to the beach.
I wish I was lying.
You have to understand my point though. Let me explain my insanity.
It was always just me. By myself. With two toddlers trying to have some fun in the sun. You see that as fun? Right. I didn’t think so. It was difficult and I didn’t want to go through it. I understand parenthood isn’t supposed to be easy but most of the time it was! My children were great babies. That wasn’t what I was accustomed to!
So instead of the beach, every summer, we would go to the local outdoor pool where they would splash around for 47 minutes, get tired, go home, eat and sleep. Easy as pie. When I bought my condo years later, I made sure there was an outdoor pool where we could enjoy lazy summer days with no fuss. Hey, my mind was conditioned already. I didn’t want to endure any more painful (yes painful, dammit. It was emotionally painful to the point where I’d break down and cry after they were in bed) beach events ever in my entire life.
After my split with their father 7 years ago, I promised them we would take a family vacation every year. I wanted them to feel that sense of togetherness, regardless of whether their dad was with us or not.
So the first year of my separation, we went to Cuba.
And here I was faced with the damn sandy beach again.
You know how it is when you’ve been through something difficult in your life and you tense up at having to re-live that moment? Well, that’s how I’d get.
I remember taking them both by the hands, constantly reminding them not run too fast so as not to kick any sand around, guide them to the shore where they played carefully in the water while I stood there, still as a guard over at Buckingham Palace, until I’d decided there was enough frolicking around and off we went to shower off and enjoy the clean pool.
Oh don’t you dare even start with the “You deprived your kids” nonsense. They didn’t like the sand either. They’d rather the clean pool! (Yeah, yeah, yeah, it was my fault, I admit it!)
Fast forward to today. My first day of March Break Vacation in Cancun with said children. Only, they’re not children anymore. And if they want to get sand all up in their crevices, that’s fine with me. And they did. They went off to the beach and swam in the crystal clear ocean and crashed against the waves and burned their eyes and swallowed mouthfuls of salt water. And then they proceeded to shower off the sand and go to the clean pool water. All on their own without mama holding their hands.
But I on the other hand? Oh my…..
….wait ’til you hear about my experience with the sand….