Tonight, the sun was out again, in a cloudless blue sky as the sun set. The beach (we face an eastern shore here, so the sun sets behind the trees) was still sunlit. I took my two children, five and two, for a walk, with popsicles (poptickles, says my 2yo son) and my elderly, limpy dog. My dog used to love to run this beach. She still loves it, but she now walks. Since we have a toddler, this is just fine. She has time to sniff all the footprints I can now see, in the sand, when they are invisible to me in the grass, invisible to any of us except dogs. She still manages to keep ahead of a todder who finds every speck of interest as he walks.
Tonight we walked. I wore a maxi dress over my swimsuit. I posted about this a few posts below, it was my mom’s. There’s a photo there of it, tropical, Hawaiian from her honeymoon with my dad. The dress grazes the sand as I walk. It’s luxurious. I walk languidly; the toddler picks up shells and tosses them into the lake. My almost-kindergartener picks up rocks and asks me to carry them. Collectors, just like me.
Six years ago this summer – almost to the weekend – we witnessed the nuptials of two good friends, on the beach on Lake Michigan, across the lake. On a hot summer night like this one, they exchanged vows. She in a long white dress, grazing the sand, graceful and elegant. He in a Cuban-style shirt and trousers. It was lovely. The entire setting was sublime. I wore a maxi dress (also my mother’s, she has amazing taste!) in three layers of chiffon, it grazed the sand too. Felt heavenly. Barefoot Contessa-esque.
That weekend, of the beach wedding, we were on the cusp, but didn’t know if it would work for sure – of conceiving our miraculous daughter. I contemplated this as the waves lapped against the hem of the sundress I wore tonight, as my children – the very child who frolicked in the waves in front of me – was merely a wish, a hope, a prayer. And her younger brother, a miracle, a child we never planned for and almost couldn’t even hope we’d be lucky enough for two. Two! These babies of mine, they are my world. Oh yeah, I work, own a company, have hobbies and friends and responsibility. But they are my soul.
I was overcome with joyful tears, at this dress in the waves, six years later, these children in the sand, this life. Gratitude doesn’t even express how I felt, that moment, in the sun, feet in the water, dress in the water, holding a chubby two-year old’s hand, he gripping tight, watching his big sister skip ahead of us.
This is what I wished for.