Spread your wings/ It’s time to fly/ Make the leap/ Own the sky. —Ms. Moem
I took Sara to the beach on Friday. We stopped at the market first, though, to grab a picnic dinner.
It’s kind of a big deal, at Sara’s age, to choose your own meal. I got a small container of basil pasta salad, with sundries tomatoes and olives. She grabbed a Lunchable, grapes, medjool dates…and a croissant.
Croissant: a hint of something delicious on the horizon. Sara’s taking an all-girls trip to France next week, with her grandmother and mommy. Oooh la la!
Sara’s growing so quickly now, in every single way. Take on the boys in a game of Nine Square in the Air? She’s on it!
Wade in the water? Look at that smile!
When the waves arch and froth at the water’s edge, she just roots herself in the sand.
A not-so-random thought eventually bubbles to the surface.
“Mommy says we’re going to eat snails in Paris,” Sara tells me. “Sorry, escargot.” She describes the dish as it’s been related to her: tiny snails, smothered in heavy sauce. “I don’t know yet if I’m really going to eat them,” she says.
I tell her that I chickened out when I had the chance.
“I wish I hadn’t,” I say.
“Sometimes,” I’m quick to add, because it’s always best to be honest.
“Give them a try,” I suggest. “Even if it’s just a teeny tiny bite, you’ll be proud of yourself for being brave. And who knows, you might decide you like them!”
Food for thought…
Hungry seagulls snatch the last of the grapes. Church groups are staking out the fire pits, and the lifeguard — zipped into a red jacket, now–is standing watch.
Who’s chasing whom? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
Sara falls on purpose, soaks her dress in ocean water. She tries to pull me down, too, but I caution her against it.
Next time, I tell her. “I don’t want to get my camera wet.”
Thing is, I like wading in the tide pools. I love digging my toes into wet sand, and I don’t mind water swirling around my ankles. I took swimming lessons after my sons were born. Basic lifesaving techniques, for my sake and theirs. But –and — I always make sure I’m within very close range of the lifeguard station.
I nearly drowned when I was her age. I don’t tell her that.
I tell her instead, that she can achieve whatever she sets her mind to–the sky’s the limit.
And it occurs to me that maybe next time I could, maybe should, venture just a tiny bit further into the waves. I’ll be proud of myself for being brave enough to try, I tell myself, and who knows, I might decide I like it.