Posts tagged " beach "

On all That is Really Left

July 10th, 2017 Posted by Tabula Rasa No Comment yet

There are days like this, when there is nothing left. Days when I’ve eaten plain spaghetti without salt for lunch, sprayed with questionable ketchup for the last two bites, wore unmatching clothes, left on nail painted on my hands. When pulling my bra through my sleeves as I rest my back on the hard floor, is even too much. When I no longer have answers for countless questions, especially ones such as “mommy, why do all children grow up.” When a morning at the beach day felt like a week’s worth of manual labor; hauling gear, changing wet bathing suits, reapplying sunscreen, digging holes, fetching juice, washing sand off the grapes, feet, hands, feeling my back burning as I spend hour two in the shallow water chasing a beach ball against the current,  on my knees.

It’s only the middle of summer and I already know nothing is left, my strength was gone before it started.

I promised myself I’d be better than last year, I’d be more patient, more organized, I’d allow time for boredom, spend time outdoors, blow my fuse at least half an hour later than normal, insist on healthier eating habits without nagging, limit screen time, and all this while not letting the scorching Greek summers dictate our day. No wonder I was tired before it all even started.

Today, all I managed, was the beach. With only one incident of voice raising. For safety reasons.

I know I’m not alone, there are a million moms on the verge of a summer vacay meltdown every second of the day. And for most of that time, we, I, are alone. Even if someone is with us.

By bedtime, our patience has reached superhuman levels, our fuses have burnt out, faded, we can almost smell them sizzling. The lights are off, the stories have been read, the mess almost tidied up, and we lay there, sit there, waiting for the melodic sound of their sleep breathing, they all have a different tune, and suddenly they’re out and we are free.

But free to do what?

“But grown ups don’t play, ” he says before he finally falls asleep. And then decides, “I’m going to play when I’m a grown up.” Hugs my arm, turns his back and goes to sleep. My arm is twisted, hurting, but it’s the sweetest pain. And all that is really left.

On the Beach

May 5th, 2017 Posted by Tabula Rasa No Comment yet

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.

Pieces: a novel

“Pieces” is the winner of the silver medal at the 2017 Independent Publishers Awards (IPPY), and a finalist at the USA Best Book Awards and International Book Awards.

When Clouds Embrace: a children's book

All proceeds from the sales of "When Clouds Embrace" will go to Giving for Greece, a foundation that works to help the hundreds of unaccompanied refugee minors in Greece.