We just returned from a week at the beach. The vacation (though anyone who has or has ever had nineteen month old children knows that a “vacation” at this stage of the game is really more like a “relocation”) started with food poisoning, which I think we’ve traced back to a suspect caprese. Who knew tomatoes could make you that violently ill. Nasty.
I rallied in time to throw some things in a suitcase, pack up the car with far too many baby-necessities, and head west until we hit water.
Of course, the first night Lane barfed in her pack n play at 3am and all the commotion finally woke Luke up. Lane settled back down, but Luke never did go back to bed. Not the most amazing way to start off a vacation.
The next day, after naps, we headed down to the water. I was tired, worn out, cranky, and generally overwhelmed. But the glittering afternoon waves began wooing me, and I grabbed Lane and headed into the water.
It was ice cold at first (as the Pacific often is), but I swirled my feet around long enough that my skin finally got used to the chill, and it suddenly felt refreshing instead of hypothermic.
I inched out, a tiny bit at a time, so that my skin would adjust. And when I got about knee deep, Lane wrapped her arms around my neck and put her head down on my shoulder, and put her belly right up against my chest. At first I thought she might be scared, but she wasn’t holding on in that nervous, don’t-drop-me sort of way. She was just draped across me, like a scarf, like she was part of me. I kept walking out until I was up to my waist, singing in her ear, letting the current sway us both.
I love that line from cummings, “i who have died am alive again today.” How perfectly it describes that moment for me.
The dying of food poisoning and packing and pushing pushing pushing to get ourselves out the door and on vacation. The dying of relocating two toddlers. The temptation to begrudge it all, to wish it all away.
And then to walk out into the water with my baby girl pressed right up against me as though we were dancing together, as though we were one . . . “i who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun’s birthday . . .”
Ahhhh, the rebirthing of the water and the waves and the sun and the sand. And my little Lane kicking her dangling toes in the salt water as I sang in her ear.
Holy, holy, holy.