As a child, many of my happiest times were spent on the beach - often the local coast near home, or on longer trips further down the Jurassic stretch between Poole and Weymouth. Beach-combing was a favourite activity, and seems to be a past-time I can share with my daughter. Neither of us have great attention spans, but tonight we spent an hour searching for shells, pebbles, and her favourite, sea glass. Every time we forget that it doesn't look the same out of water; the bright sparkle dulls as soon as it dries out - but we still collect it.
I'm not a classic amongst mums. Patience isn't my best feature; I get bored easily - I usually have my nose in my own book, rather than hers. I have serious workaholic tendencies, and came to motherhood too late to have the energy required for endless playing (it must be said that I don't feel guilty about any of this. I'm who I am, and I do my best, as parents do).
Tonight, though, we walked along the shore, lost in the focus of our search, and happy in each other's company. I wanted to capture this, before I go back to normality and forget the feel of her small hand in mine; and the joy I felt in her excitement as she showed me her latest discovery.
I'm keeping the sea glass under water for a while too. Sometimes you need to hang on to the sparkle for a just little bit longer.