Sand in my toes and the back of my knees and falling out of every article of clothing. Sand lining the drawers of the old wooden dresser in our room so that each supposedly clean item leaves a dusting of sand across the floor when it’s removed in the morning.
Sand adhering to my cheeks and nose as I turn and lie face down on a towel, feeling that perhaps the sun has overstayed its welcome on my face. I brush it off again when I sit up to watch the kids playing in the lake with their cousins, aunt, uncle, grandparents. Kids sitting in crashing waves with their Oma, riding new boogie boards in the small waves made just a bit bigger by the occasional motor boat or jet ski, and sifting through sand for treasures. Sand lining the ice cream containers staying cold in the cooler of ice and sand surrounding the bottle of white wine we attempt to chill in the stream that runs into the lake nearby.
Sand strewn across our bed up in the room that’s been ours for three summers now, as I read a book to Lyle. It’s a funny book, not from our library, but belonging to the house, and it reminds me of all the random books I fell in love with in the vacation houses of my childhood. I read this book on our bed next to my freshly scrubbed child even though I remain in my swimsuit and beach shirt, both filled with itchy, scratchy sand, because it is the only way he will calm down and go to bed. He wants his mama to read the story and no amount of explanation changes that. With nearly every page turn, another child appears in my room and by the time I am halfway through, all four children are cuddled around me as close as they can be, arms and legs flung out over each other, laughing at the story, exuding sweet shampoo and soap after a long day outside, no longer covered in sunscreen and bug spray.
Sand in every suitcase and beach bag as we unpack today, here in our own sandy house in this sandy neighborhood, over here on our side of the lake in its different time zone, sun rising over the lake rather than setting there.
A thousand images of kids playing together both in our cameras and our hearts, and knowing that they will grow and change year after year and we will come together again each summer and measure the changes as we revel in the laughter, the negotiations, and the quiet conversations.
And the sand. Always the sand.