There are some days when parenting is harder than others. And parenting is easy for no one. Parenting is a constant battle of standing firm and giving in– no matter where you are in the world or what you are doing. I thought all these things as June and I walked down the beach, her one step behind me, whining and begging me to pick her up. Unfortunately, for her, I didn’t want to pick her up. I wanted her to walk beside me. I wanted her to play by herself so I could be alone in my thoughts. I wanted the morning to myself. I wanted only to hear the wind and waves. I wanted to experience the peace of the vacant beach. She was covered completely in a thick layer of sand. Sand that would stick to my own skin if I picked her up. And my hips hurt. It was only nine in the morning, but my hips were already sore from carrying her this morning. Yes, it is true, some days are harder than others.
Giving in, I lifted her to me and kissed her chubby cheeks, my attempt at a peace treaty. She lifted Kermit to kiss me back, “mu, mu” planting his lips hard against my own face. “Sweet girl,” I whispered into the salty morning wind, feeling guilty. Maybe parenting isn’t all so bad.
All around us, the beach was alive and I wanted badly to remember everything about it. I sat June beside me on a towel and we watched the waves beat against the shore, her arms wrapped tightly around my neck. I could still smell the sweet syrup from her morning pancakes on her breath. Fifty yards down the beach, a gull silently landed. He ruffled his back feathers until they stood tall around his neck. Noticing him, June pointed then let out a screech, defying his authority. He would not be the boss on the beach this morning.
Holding hands, we wandered down the beach in harmony, looking for sea shells and other remnants left-over from the hurricane. Some day, I will walk the beach alone, but today did not belong to me. Looking back to watch June fed Kermit a black sea shell, I felt my heart swell. Love always fills you the deeper than any other emotion. Today, I had finally found my own kind of peace. And though it may not be quiet or easy, it was mine.