Bird is an early riser. Fortunately, so is my family. My brother jogs most mornings before even Bird is stirring, my dad wakes up bright and early to open and slam every conceivable cabinet door and drawer in the kitchen, like a wild and ravenous grizzly bear foraging for some Egg Beaters and a cinnamon-raisin bagel. My mom pads around like a little ray of sunshine. My husband and my sister-in-law are adjusting to this early-bird way of life, and they are accepting and mostly pleasant about it.
Bird managed to beat everyone to the wake-up once during the week, so she and I took a special walk to the beach and sat on the hard sand to watch the tide roll out in the quiet. We walked a little, spotted a few early-morning dog walkers, seagulls, washed-up jellyfish. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful and perfect scene, mama and birdy enjoying the ocean and filling up with peace in the early morning.
And once we’d reached that mother-child beach nirvana, we held it for a few exquisite moments and promptly began a quick decent into madness, with Bird brewing up a wicked tantrum about a few grains of sand on her leg – after sitting in sand up to her waist all afternoon the day before and loving every minute of it, with sand in her swim suit and hair and EARS for the love of God– and me grabbing her hand and saying things through clenched teeth like, “We are having a REALLY NICE TIME ON THE BEACH, Birdy, and your whining is DRIVING ME BANANAS. We are going to WALK in the WAVES because it is FUN.” You know, because it is up to me to tell her what she enjoys and our moment together is all about ME and my picture-perfect moment of mother and child harmony. And it is totally appropriate to art-direct special moments with a toddler. I left the beach with a screaming, kicking toddler under my arm. It was a beautiful morning and I will always treasure the memories.