Saturday, August 16, 2014

Breaking in For a Little Light Mommy Blogging

Situation normal at Casa de Bon: we broke, broke, broke.  There are no ducats in the coffer.  We owe our soul to the company store. Etc.  But one of the nice things about living where we do is that we're a quick trot to the beach, which is the very best Chicago has to offer in absolutely free entertainment.

I love going to the beach.  I always have.  Growing up, we took a trip to Florida every year.  Lake Michigan beaches are not like those.  The sand is rocky and it's not hard to find trash.  No matter how capacious the lake, it's still a lake and has lake smells. And there will always be Eastern European types feeding the seagulls (OH MY GOD STOP FEEDING THE GODDAMN SEAGULLS. THEY NEVER GO AWAY IF YOU FEED THEM). Also a bunch of dudes wearing speedos.  I cannot get on board with the speedo unless you're built like David Beckham or something.  Speedos make me giggle.  Today I saw a dad and his 10 yr old son in matching speedos.  This is not an unfamiliar sight at a Rogers Park beach.

But I love it.  I can sit there in my chair, listening to the sounds of conversation around me, kids playing, waves lapping. I love our city beaches where all the groups are strangers to each other, but perfectly friendly (unless you're feeding the damn seagulls).  There's something about a beach that makes you feel part of a whole. It's hard not to feel accepted, at peace with the world from a beach.  It works like a tonic on me.

I watched Laney in the water talking to her friend and thought of my own childhood trips to the beach with my best friend and how much fun it was.  I felt really happy for Laney to have such a good friend.

But then suddenly, out of nowhere, I found myself pining for toddler Laney.  A Laney I could scoop up into my arms and twirl around; a Laney who was all mine.

But only for a second.  Because after that brief second….

Wait!  I want to tell you another story first.  On my wedding day, I was standing in the back of the church and I was straight up freaking up.  My dad was standing next to me utterly unaware of my freakout because I was marrying a nice guy in a Catholic church and so all was right in his world. I started to feel a little like I could turn around and walk out the door.  All those people!  My dress was a little tight and I wasn't sure I could stand up under the scrutiny. And then I looked down and saw Don and thought to myself, "Eye on the prize, Rhem.  Keep your eye on the prize."  And I walked down the aisle with, I dare say, quite a bit of élan.

I remember that so clearly because it was a moment of such startling clarity.  I think I've had maybe two or three of those in my life.

I had a moment of startling, crystal clarity hard on the heels of that small moment of pining for Laney's distant toddler-hood.  I thought, "Oh, god, I got to do that! I get to do this!"  And I felt enormously grateful.

Just for a brief moment today, despite being broke and the damn seagulls and all the other little things that make me crazy, I felt fully the privilege of my life, the beaches and Don and getting to be this little girl's mother.  And I felt absolutely at peace.

And then some guy in a speedo threw part of his sandwich to a seagull so I murdered him.  Anyone got bail money?