Not long after Cassidy and I got back together and knew it was serious, he took me to his father’s house in Truro on Cape Cod. It’s a long house in a wooded area on a gravel road that I always think is impossible to find. It has four bedrooms and has recently undergone renovations, but the soul of the house is intact. You walk into that house in July and breathe in the smell of summer vacation. You walk into that house in December and breathe in the smell of summer vacation memories. Summer could be far away but you can’t turn in a corner in the house without being reminded. Pictures and poetry hang all through the house. There is one wall in particular that captivates me every single time I visit the house. And, it always will.
It is filled, floor to ceiling, with photos of Cassidy and his brothers and cousins from babyhood to adulthood. It tells tales of being buried in the sand, of OREO and peanut butter sandwiches, of beach days and outdoor showers, of corn on the cob and ice cream and finding sand in your shoes long after you have gone back to work or school or winter and whatever other dreaded thing you escaped. You look at these pictures and you see a gift that children have been given. They have been taught to truly know joy and pure fun. Not everyone receives these gifts. The evidence is on the wall. It is written in every expression on every face of every photo. You can’t look at these pictures and not smile. I looked and thought, “I want that.”
I grew up with 7 grandparents and my kids are growing up with 6. And I just lost the last of mine only weeks ago, and I not-so-secretly and magically want my kids to have all six for the next thirty years or so. Whatever it takes to bend time and let the stories go on. Grandparents are laughter in the rain, echoes in the wind, and footprints in the sand. They are everything.
They are history and power. Dreams and time travel. And they are full of stories and memories, because one day we are nothing but stories, so you might as well make it a good one. My grandparents and my children’s grandparents give me that sense of both peace and urgency that everything is ok/not ok, and that it all boils down to love. My grandparents and my children’s grandparents infuse me with the parenting I aim for and sometimes even achieve. All that stuff. It matters. It sticks with you. Where you take them, what you feed them, what you tell them, and how you tuck them safely into bed.
I know I promised you some Beach Sand Play Dough and I won’t go back on a blog promise. This “recipe” or craft, if you will, is dedicated to my grandparents, my children’s grandparents, and anyone else who takes their grandchildren to the beach.
Beach Sand Playdough
What You Need:
1 cup flour
1 cup fine sand
¼ cup salt
1 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
¾ cup boiling water
Shells, small glass stones
What You Do:
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sand, salt, and cream of tartar.
- Add the oil and water and mix well.
- Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes until it is all smooth.
- Mix in some shells and glass stones and have fun molding and playing with the sand playdough. Just like playing at the beach but this sand holds its shape!
This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “Grandparents..” 5 minute freewriting (I always go over five minutes) Come link up with your spin on the topic HERE.