We are here vacationing along the Emerald Coast in Florida and holy smokes, they weren’t lying. The sand really is as white a sugar and the water is a lovely shade of brilliant blue-green. It is the exact same shade as the color of Captain Knuckle’s eyes.
His lovely eyes are highlighted by his deepening tan. Like you, he inherited my skin that darkens to a rich pecan brown from too much time in the sun. I know you probably think you got all of your coloring from your Samoan father but truth be told, I am just as much responsible for your dark curly hair, your chocolate brown eyes, and your exotic skin. Unlike Captain Knuckle, your other two siblings are little lily white babies who turn lobster red in the sun. It is SPF 1000+, long sleeve shirts, and sun hats for them. I do not know how they are going to survive living here in Florida when we move!
The boys are loving the beach and naturally they track sand through the condo we have rented. It is everywhere and at first I tried to keep up with it but over the last day or so, I have just given up and do a good cleaning after they all go to bed at night. Unfortunately, that means there are sometimes little minefields of sand for your sister to crawl through, hidden by the cream colored tiles. It hurts her knees and then she starts to cry, so she rubs her eyes with her pudgy little hands which have tiny grains of sand on them. The sand gets in her eyes and then she gets angry and yells at me. She is so adorable when she is cussing me out for the sand on the floor that I can’t help but giggle at her. Seriously – so freakin’ cute.
It’s been an interesting trip. Ever since my swan song a few months ago, I have really worked hard at trying to be completely present for my children I am parenting. I consciously make an effort to set aside all of the adoption angst tied up with being a natural mother to a now-adult daughter who doesn’t want to have a relationship (for whatever reason). Some days I find myself falling into bed at night and realizing I have not thought/contemplated/fretted/worried about you once all day long.
But then in the still of the evening hours, guilt creeps in and I wonder if I am a bad mother because I didn’t think/contemplate/fret/worry about you once all day long, that I simply enjoyed my sweet baby girl, my two charming and wonderful boys, and my amazing husband. I work so hard during my waking hours to will you out of my thoughts that sometimes during those hazy drifting to sleep moments, I am suddenly jolted awake by you.
Sometimes at the end of a long day my heart feels like little Penelope’s knees, like I just crawled through a fine dusting of sugar white sand camouflaged by the ceramic tiles and it is raw and tender. While it is getting easier to carve out an existence in which thoughts of you and any potential “reunion” are not looming on the horizon, there are still moments where I forget not to rub my eyes with sand covered hands.