And then, there came a day, when my kid and I lay next to eachother on beach towels, and talked. About the yummy strawberries that formed a bright red clown mouth around his lips, the five insects that he discovered in the schoolyard that morning, about how beautiful the beach is, how good the sea makes us feel.
Just when I thought, yet again, that I cannot do this anymore, that it’s not easier as they grow older, but a different kind of hard, another one I have to master, to adapt to, before the next appears. Just when I thought I was doing everything wrong, again, having forgotten that last time I felt this way, something just as magical happened to ease the way.
“Get up, mommy, I want to see how you run down the beach,” he says. “Like those two grown ups there,” pointing at the elderly sun-kissed couple, fitter than me in my 20s, jogging through the waves.
He’s up before me, running, screaming with glee, his little feet splashing, dots of wet sand a mosaic on his back. “Come on, mommy, this is the most amazing beach ever!” He runs toward me and wraps his arms around my thigh, I tug him back to our towels. We lay back down, me on my back, he on his side, looking into my eyes as if he expected me to do something to make things even more magnificent. The beach was full of people, but there was only us.
Parenthood will never be easy, it will rarely be bearable, I know that now, but I will forget it, too absorbed by frustrations of daily life. My son is only four; we have an ocean to swim through, but I will have myriads of chances to be reminded by it’s sudden, rare, engulfing, unmatched beauty.
The moment was over quickly, as he demanded juice and ice cream on the way back to the car, tired, whiney and red-eyed, he sat back in his car seat and eventually fell asleep. I pulled over on the side of the road, switched off the music, took off my seatbelt, turned around and stared at him.