My daughter, Sarah, is one and a half years old. Unlike my son, who got my wife’s melanin, Sarah got my lack thereof. For those of you who might not remember high school biology, melanin is the stuff that allows you to get a suntan. I’m sure it has some other, more important biological function, but frankly who cares.
I just returned from a wonderful vacation with my family in Hawaii. We stayed at a hotel that had a large, incredible swimming pool complete with waterslides, waterfalls, swim up bars, a river – you name it. The best part for Sarah was the faux-beach. The pool had a beach area that was just like a real beach, with sand and that gradually sloped into the water. But this beach was filled with regular pool water, not salt water, and was directly connected to the rest of the larger swimming pool. Sarah loved playing on the beach.
We bought her sand toys so she could scoop, sift, drip, pack and mound the sand without our having to guiltily borrow the necessary tools from other parents.
I had planned on bringing her beach toys from home, but forgot when we packed. That forgetfulness cost me $42 in new sand toys purchased at our resort, Ripoffsville. And, of course, we didn’t have room when we packed to come home so we left them behind. My wife was hopeful that they’d make it to the beach for another parent caught without his or her child’s sand necessities. More cynical, I suspect they’ll make it back onto the shelf to be resold for the eighth time. But I digress…
Just before the trip, my nanny bought Sarah the cutest bathing suit on the planet. A pink one-piece with a big Scooby Doo patch right in the middle. And the Scooby is pretty big, covering most of her little body.
So, to the beach area we’d go each morning. Sarah standing, sitting or mostly squatting like only toddlers can, with her feet flat on the ground and her tush (that’s Yiddish for “butt” by the way) just a fraction of an inch off the ground. In her adorable bright pink Scooby Doo suit.
She’d splash in the water, play with the sand, and pat the ground next to her to indicate where she wanted you to sit. We had hours of fun. Not surprisingly, her favorite thing was to squeeze the sand through the fingers – something that didn’t require those sand toys after all. It didn’t matter though. I got to spend the week with my precious little girl, as she frolicked in the water and turned lightly pink from the sun.
Sarah was the princess of her sand court. The other little kids were her disciples. Like any royalty worshipper, they didn’t exist for me. Only my princess. My daughter.
We were lucky and the sun shone brightly the entire week we were in Hawaii. But the sun took second place to my glowing daughter in the Miss Radiance contest held that week. In fact, ol’ hag Sol is 0-83 in this particular contest since Sarah was born, and I don’t see her schedule getting any easier, as they say.
Sarah, my sweet, delightful daughter, you light up my life more than you’ll ever know. Your smile and joy are nourishment for my soul. Thank you for the sustenance you’ve given me over the past year and a half, and for all that you’ll continue to give me as you live your beautiful life. I feel privileged and lucky just to be a part of your life.