Our floors are sandy again. About time I’d say. Some sand in my hair as well. If I don’t remember to empty the pockets they’ll too spill on the floor. And if I do remember, chances are someone will not so it’s all the same. Sigh? Nah, that’d be a wasted breath…
Normal floors, hardwood or otherwise, are somewhat overrated in the world of river rats, you see. My ideal house would have floors made of driftwood, that’s where sand feels at home… And us too.
It was a good afternoon today. We headed to the sand banks on the north shore after school. They’re endless. The sand sparkles with the cheekiness of a gold-bearing sediment. As if. There’s driftwood half-buried in wind-smoothed sand and if you’re willing to keep walking you’ll find old bones and shells too.
Just keep walking…
“Mom, look, it’s perfect for a king!”
All of a sudden Sasha is the king; just like that; lack of nobility by birth notwithstanding, Sasha feels royal and I cannot blame him. The place inflates you to royalty as you walk barefoot through the golden sand.
He draws lines in the sand. “Follow the line, or else you’ll get lost.” We follow; lost is no fun, although if one is to get lost, this would be a rather sweet adventure.
Winding our way on a sand bank where it’s just us. We find enough driftwood for a simple contraption and carry it back to the base camp to build the small fort where the kind shall sleep. Us pages will guard the walls, as per his instructions.
He is so taken with the kingdom he runs, it’s delightful. I notice his feet are covered in sparkles and then check mine. Golden. I’m secretly hoping it’ll never rub off. It looks pretty, that’s all.
“Mom, is the water good for swimming?”
We try it. My ankles hurt from the chill after a few minutes. “Not yet babe, soon though…”
The river is shamelessly copying the blue of the sky, clouds included. It’s quiet here, except for the occasional geese that fly over honking. But you can’t fault anyone and anything here.
We shoot our bows, and the arrows glide on the sandy surfaces. No target really, we shoot and watch them fly low like uncomplicated thin and quiet birds. Pick them up; again. And repeat.
The king regales us with a game he invents on the spot. Stick in the middle, try and hit it with a golf ball, then try and get the ball before others do. We plunge in the sand like the very arrows we shot not long ago, stir the golden specks and make tiny puffy clouds of dust.
I look at Sasha rolling in the sand, laughing round and perfectly shaped belly laughs as I plunge to get the ball from him. The game he invented, his pure joy, makes me think of the many kids who have invented games throughout time. Nothing scheduled or timed or reinforced by adults, just their minds finding games and causing laughs; many. Some of the rules may be silly and may be changing as needed to benefit the pint-sized player, but the sheer happiness is my shelter here.
When it’s time to go (simply because we have to get a hold of the king’s brother Tony) he stalls. Ever seen royal stalling? It’s one of a kind.
“I lost my special royal weapon.”
We look, there’s no weapon. Keep searching. Then he gets trapped in the midst of an arrow forest. Tough one. We save him and get him to say goodbye to the beach for now. I wouldn’t go either but acting mature is one of those things that humans do at times…
Tomorrow morning I will make raspberry pancakes, squeeze a bike ride in there somewhere and then, as per the little king’s suggestion, we shall spend the rest of the day at the beach. If it rains, it rains. Can’t change that, can we now?
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