Wednesday, October 05, 2016

To the edge

We walk to the edge in different ways. Sometimes we charge right in and take on the challenges. Other times we choose getting there slowly dipping ourselves in one toe at a time. Eventually we learn that facing the challenge is the most important part of growing courage. Cultivating courage in our children is a remarkable gift we can offer. It is the courage in little endeavors that will grow leading them through the big moments. Seeing my girl inch her way up to the water overcoming her fear of big waves reminds me of my own moments where I needed to find the courage to press on. Together we faced those waves and found joy in riding them out. 

Monday, October 03, 2016

Rhode Island dress on the shore

People paused to consider why my daughter was wearing a pretty dress to play at the beach. I paused too. I'm always worried about ruining clothing. As if we were saving these garments for all of eternity. Sometimes it seems like we are when we have other children to clothe. It's my inherent thriftiness that just seems to get the best of me. In many circumstances that thriftiness is needed in others it just gets in the way.

My darling girl felt beautiful in her favorite dress. She was so excited to visit the beach I couldn't spare one more moment keeping her away. Clothes can be cleaned. At this age children outgrow clothing quickly, far too quickly. While this is her favorite dress her time wearing it is now coming to an end. The days of summer are disappearing and this dress will become but only a memory.

Jane ran to the shore plunging her hands deep into the sand. Hands swirled the sand in circles. She grabbed clumps to squish between fingers. Interrupting her to change into something else was not a priority to me. Letting her play in the moment was exactly what we needed to do. I watched her revel in the most sweet toddler way. Witnessing the infectious joy she had: Squeals in delight as she experienced the sand. Laughter as she ran from the waves. Dancing in the sand. Chasing seagulls remarking at their wingspan.

Absolute bliss in exploration. She was doing what every two year old loves to do: EXPERIENCE the world. The water lapped along the shore, birds flew overhead, shells were scattered around her. It was a wonderland of discovery.

I don't know how long we were there. An hour? We stayed until she was soaked through. I have to admit it has been the most delightfully beautiful memory of her being two years old. This day at the beach will be one I look back to with fondness. I was so happy watching her play. I could have sat there much longer enjoying her company. It's moments like these that we want to last forever. The bliss they give us is amazing. This every day celebration of life. Do I see it enough? Perhaps not. I can see that I need to make an effort to let these moments guide us to find the joy in daily life. I'm so glad I have this beautiful little person to teach me. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fading Footprints

Little by little my sweet baby girl is growing up. Before my eyes it seems the toddler is fading away. She tells me frequently "my do it myself" in her eagerness to be independent, to be the big girl she aspires to be. With three older sisters sweet Janie has much to observe. Meanwhile I watch as those footprints grow further apart and fade away as she continues this journey called growing up. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Explorer moments

A little explorer. She has been strolling along the shore testing sand and seaweed texture in her hand and toes. An occasional shell will interest her. She will stoop over and consider it purpose. She may pick it up to get a closer look. Rubbing her finger along its edges noticing the tiny barnacles affixed to its surface. Water washes nearby more sand squishes between her toes. She pauses looking out to the sea. Waves gently crash barely reaching her feet. A gull will sound and off she goes again seeking for a new item to investigate. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Along the shore

A walk in the sand where the shore calls us to play. I let her wear the dress today. The beautiful pale blue dress that I need to iron after every washing. The dress that she asks to wear almost every day. The vintage dress with missing buttons. Her dress. Her most favorite dress to wear. 

To the beach. 

Sand and water. 

And it was ok. 

She had the most blissfully wonderful time. Me too. I laughed as I watched her thoroughly enjoy herself. Janie wanted to go to the sand. To play in that sand, squish it, roll in it, experience it. We walked along the boardwalk and I considered the options. Yes or No. Why should I say no? Was I afraid of dirt? When I got to the bottom of it I realized that my reasons were foolish compared to the benefit of Janie having a beautiful moment at the beach. The Rhode Island coastline is stunning in late summer. Tourists are gone the beach is nearly empty. It's here to be experienced. We kicked off our shoes, I rolled up my jeans, and we set off to play. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Her Blue Dress

The timelessness of some dresses can take you back to memories long ago forgotten. There are two missing buttons on this vintage blue dress. One was lost right after her first wearing shortly after I found it at the thrift store the other early this summer. What a find that dress was way back last winter! It's Janie's favorite dress. She loved it from first sight as did I. The front smocking is adorned with delicate little daisies. The white collar and tie back waist add to its loveliness. It was a bit too large for her at the time but I let her wear it because I know. I understand how something beautiful to wear can change your day. Once some other little girl wore this dress on warm summer days playing in the sunshine.  I imagine she too loved this dress because it made her feel beautiful and feminine. 

Time gets away from me and those buttons, those two little missing buttons, they just never seem to get sewn back on before Janie wears the dress again. Sometimes I pause and say, "not today, darling." And we set aside the dress because I keep thinking I'll find the time in my day to mend the dress, that I shouldn't let her wear it again with two missing buttons. Today I told myself forget it. Today we will wear that favorite blue dress and have a very good day.