My schedule is all out of whack. I wake up at 4am and wait for a decent hour to slowly wedge its way in. I toss and turn and finally creep out to the living room to check in on the internet world. Then she wakes up and it’s still dark so I try to convince her it’s not morning yet. It never works. We start our day at 5:30. She wants a banana or two or a bagel with cream cheese or doughnuts or maybe all of them together. I make her eggs and toast. We huddle by the heater and wait for something exciting to happen.
Since nothing exciting is happening we turn on cartoons. Then we take forever to get ready to do anything. Before we know it, it is noon and we have not gone out to do our errands. It’s too late to do anything now that naptime looms so we putz around the house some more. I watch the minutes slowly tick by until naptime. Sometimes she goes down a bit early, sometimes she goes down a bit late. And sometimes, since we were driving home from the sticks, she goes down in the car and completely skips nap.
Two o’clock rolls around and since she isn’t sleeping we go to the beach. Why not? There are castles to be built. Pictures to be taken. Journals to be scribbled in. Sand to be collected in rolled-up pant legs and soggy diapers, between our toes and in our hair. We while away the time like locals. We own the beach on a cloudy day. It’s ours. Everyone else is a tourist. We let them borrow our buckets and shovels generously because we know we’ll be back tomorrow and the next day and the next.
My stomach grumbles and I know dinner will take over an hour to cook so I drag her from the beach screaming and wailing. Her pants are so soggy and cold I have to peel them off her and still she wants to dig and splash some more. She digs her fingernails into the wet sand like a dog digging to China. Don’t you ever get tired of this? I wonder. I guess not. I guess walking on the beach almost every day of her life has worked. She will always feel at home here. She likes the feeling of sand on her skin.
I always wanted to be a beach girl when I was growing up, stuck inland in a dead-end town that everyone wanted to escape. We dreamed of dating surfers and rollerskating in bikinis. I never thought I’d live here. I never thought my daughter’s birth certificate would have the name of this town on it. She’s my beach girl. My dream came true for her. I wonder if she’ll grow up and move to Montana.
After dinner and another bath to wash the sand away, we lie down together and whisper in the dark. No stories tonight. We’re both tired. I shouldn’t have had that second cup of coffee in the afternoon. I’m crashing. But she’s more tired than I am and in seconds I hear her deep breathing. I drag myself out from under the warm covers and pad out to the living room to check on the internet again. Usually I wouldn’t blog. My brain is too dead but these silver pictures wanted to be seen and I know I won’t have time to put them up tomorrow. Another busy day.
It’s raining now. I love the sound of it on the roof. Could it be that winter is finally here? I really hope I don’t wake up at 4am tomorrow.