There is a new clock ticking inside of me, not the one that used to say "Hurry up lady! Make a baby already! Your eggs are lookin' like raisins in here!" No, the cuckoo in that clock don't sing no mo'. This is a different clock that strikes a heavy, resounding gong with each of the kids' passing birthdays. It says "We are turning into grow-ups right before your eyes. Times...running...out..."
I wanna smash that clock with a hammer.
I am starting to recognize that, as one day runs like a drippy nose into the other, the thing that keeps the days from blurring together is variety. While we have loved our big trips, Guy and I are thinking that day trips will be the key to having experiences more often that will create memories that don't seem to wash away with the monotony of days.
So we jumped into September with two sandy feet. As we rounded up sunblock and sand toys, a certain teenaged somebody parked his tukus in a chair and dug in his heals. Sadly, a day trip with little kids and sand aren't what his adolescent heart considers to be fun. We left him behind. I was sad.
Our day at the beach was not unique from that spent by a thousand other families up and down the California coast on this day. Sand in the chip bag, on the blanket, and between pudgy fingers. The day may never have stood out in my mind until Adam started his creation.
It began slowly. He was sliding his feet in the sand leaving a circular trail. Soon it was a spiral 15 feet wide. Spirals are just magical to me, and he soon had my full attention as he left this one and began a new one nearby. I don't remember even getting up, but soon I was making one, and in a few minutes I looked across the way to see Guy had joined us as well.
We quietly worked, sliding our feet as the sand mounded and furrowed in our wake. At times we passed very near each other as spirals expanded to each other's edges. Other times we were a hundred feet away from each other, and once, our three different circles closed in on each other as we found ourselves near enough to touch, almost crashing, and then leading us out and away again.
There was such a pleasantness working away on this sand art with each other. The little ones admired, but didn't want to attempt it. It felt important and they were being careful not to step into it.
The nature of this continuous merging and looping made it hard to stop, and maybe it's because we are all a little OCD that it actually took a rouge band of seagulls stealing all of our chips to break the spell.
The final image was enormous and so, so beautiful. And the process made me think about parenting, and how that changes over time. How our involvement with older children takes on new patterns as they move in and out of our circle of influence. How we hope that through their trials and difficulties, they will keep coming back around to the core truths we have tried to instill in them, and though they will leave our immediate sphere, we will always want them to come back around to their first nest.
It grew late and soon it was time to leave. We left our amazing creation behind of course, though I would have liked to roll it up like a Persian rug and bring it home with me.
And I can. In my head, and in the feeling in the souls of my feet, and Adam's funny, busy smile etched in my mind.