It has been nearly 2 years since we moved. By the beach. Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is pull up the curtains and look at the beach. There is something calming about water. Deep blue. Or deep green. Or some days it is lifeless and pale.
When the wall does not contain the energy, I take my kids to the beach. We have gone to the beach since my baby was 3 months. Baby in a carrier. Holding tightly to my toddler. While we three cross the busy main road. It is a sight, probably.
There is something about the sand and the water that dissolves toddler tantrums. There is something about the air which makes baby sleep. The calm of the waves and the quiet happiness on my children’s face helps me recentre why I took a decision to step back from clinical practice. Some days I feel with every fibre of my being that it was a wrong decision. Then some days I see my elder one quietly massaging her baby sisters feet after a fall or I see baby going to the kitchen to put a cup away. Tiny moments I might have missed if I wasn’t there at that exact moment. Insignificant moments that would not have been narrated by the kids or their caretaker. Then I feel probably in the long run, it will be clear to me. (Since writing this article, I have joined back the workforce)
On weekends when we are so tired – him from the job and me from the never-ending chores – we take a stroll. By the beach.
Elder one on her cycle.
Baby safely in our arms or the sling.
Just free-flowing conversations.
Or observing others.
Hearing the frolic of the children overlapping the soft waves of the sea.
Then I think somewhere in the future, I might look back to this phase and think ‘Those were some of the best days of my life!’ I have been trying to be more mindful of the present than constantly think of how the future will pan out. Maktoob. It is already written. Why worry about it? Duas can change it.
‘Did you take the 6000 steps today?’.
‘Yes! Almost 7000’
The corniche had been renovated and just opened. We went to explore and I was waddling with my big tummy so desperate to reach my daily target of 6000 steps. 2 hours later I went into labour. Do beach sand and seawater help in inducing labour or is it just another old wives tale? Who knows?! Living by the beach.
From our balcony, I can see the beach. The buildings across the water. The hospital where my baby was born. I often think of the stories that are happening inside the walls of the hospital.
Long days dealing with allergies. I lost my sense of direction. How do I deal with this? What do I know? The elder one was bored. After all the TV and the busy-mom feeding baby always, what else can a toddler do? So we braved and went to the beach. I to erase my “mom-guilt” and for her, to release her pent up energy. Living by the beach.
He came early from the office one day. ‘Come H we will go to the beach!’ ‘Ha, no beach trips without me and baby!’ Out we went, though the house was not clean, neither the dishes were done nor the laundry folded.
But it can wait.
This moment here probably will not. It was a high tide day. The water has rushed past the man-made barrier. No stones can stop the force of water.
First, our little girl went into the water. She wet her legs. Then her hands and finally she was in the water. Completely drenched. The baby wanted to play in the water too. So she went with her dad. I couldn’t stay anymore. I too!
We walked until the barrier- sat on the raised platform. Water all around. We clicked photos. One of those ended up being her ‘Summer photos’ for her school project.
Suddenly she exclaimed ‘Family on the beach. So happy!’ Yes. Alhamdulilah.
I have always wanted to clean up the front beach facing balcony, renovate it and make it my cosy reading and writing space. Imagine writing by the beach. When we first moved in here, he remarked, ‘Now I have got you a quiet place where you can look at the water and write!’ Only that I haven’t written anything in a long while. Words keep floating in my thoughts but nothing on paper or Evernote. Well, back to the renovation. Nothing happened. I haven’t done anything. Other than it being a place where I put the cloth dryer stand. I wonder if we will stay here long then why bother about the renovation. But then that logic doesn’t stand ground. Does anybody live forever on this soil?
I have photos and videos of my kids at the beach. Many photos of the sea. Sunsets. No two sunsets are ever the same. Then why do we fear change so much? Wasn’t our lives meant to be in motion always?
This place is small. Our family is growing. Our needs are changing. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. But I will forever remember this time when we lived by the beach.
There is no story, rhyme or reason why I wrote this piece. I have been wanting to document more. Health scares do that to you. How else will my daughters know me other than through words and stories I leave behind? I think about this blog. What direction do I want to take it? Monetising it might cost me my creativity. Also worried about the privacy of my children.
I loved writing ‘Letters to my daughter’. The thing is writing it comes easily when it’s on the blog. I do not take the effort to write it on pen and paper now. But then I am worried. Why if my children don’t like it in the future? I know I will alter posts as and what they want. If they don’t want something, I’ll pull it down. My first priority will always be their safety, privacy and happiness.
Any blogger coach will tell you ‘Write what your reader wants or help your reader out with a solution to their problem. Nobody wants to read your story or problems’ But I say – humans find a connection in stories of others. So write whatever makes you happy.