Being: Conscious, mortal existence; life.
Every month we welcome two families, two people, two voices to share their stories in whatever way they chose. We hope that you find joy in their daily lives, and their simple habit of just being.
I’ve been to the beach many times before, but this was special because it would be the very first time for my youngest daughter and the second time for my eldest.
As I chuffed through the warm soft sand I could feel each foot sink in. The grains filling up the spaces between my toes. With my baby on my back and a toddler running ahead I knew this afternoon at the beach would be a memory I would not soon forget.
Memory is such a funny thing though, because at this age it’s not the girls who are making the memories, but me. Right now they live in the present moment, not caring what we just did all morning or where we’ll have dinner but right here and now. Whereas I am pulling memories from my childhood visits to the beach and comparing them to the ones I have envisioned to come. My eldest is only 2 1/2 and she has been to the beach twice before but doesn’t remember either of the times. What she remembers is the videos we took of her last time. She’ll remember this time for a week or maybe even a month, but eventually forget it.
We arrive at our carefully selected spot on the beach. Not too far, but not so close that the rising tide could send a long reaching hand to soak our towels. I hand the baby to my husband as I set up our space with towels and strategically placed shoes all around so the towels don’t blow away with the warm ocean breeze. I take the baby back and get ready to plop her down into the sand when a seagull lands not 15 feet way. She promptly screams out “gab!”, presumably baby talk for “gabbiano”, which means seagull in Italian, and she starts crawling towards it at full speed. The bird is quickly forgotten when she realizes that she is in soft, soft sand. In the last 5 minutes she has experienced three new things for the first time. I wonder desperately what she thinks of all these things. Her awe over watching the waves crashing to shore, the soft sand that sticks to her legs, and of course that seagull. Watching babies experience new things for the first time is so delightful. It takes you outside of your own mental box and allows you to see the world in new ways. You don’t really think this at the time as you are too busy making sure she doesn’t eat all plant matter in sight.
Of course my infant promptly forgot all about her first trip to the beach and was absolutely smitten about seeing the seagulls again the next day when we went back to the beach, and started sampling all the local flora again. It’s like a very pleasant “Groundhog’s Day”. She was however terrified of the waves this time and would not go anywhere near the surf.
What will she take away from this first-time experience? A subconscious fear of water? A love for seagulls? A passion for phytoplankton? If only she could talk, I’m dying to know what she thinks of all these things she’s never seen before and has no reference point to compare to.
What is your first memory?
August is just around the corner and so, this is KC’s last post for us here in the Being series. Thank you, KC, for sharing with us this month. You can continue to follow along with KC by visiting her blog, Little Homestead in the Desert, where she writes with equal parts humor and heart.
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