We’re at my folks’ place for the weekend, putting up the usual limp resistance to fry-ups, The Late Late Show, and offers to baby-sit; nearing the end of a day I know will go down in the annals of our toddler history as one of the best.
It crept in with an early morning re-acquintance with daylight on the sofa, shaking off my dream before registering our two-year old was stuck in a Holby City trance in front of the TV. It rowed out with her snoring before I hit the bit in Little Bear Won’t Sleep where the main protagonist has fallen asleep. He’s all talk.
Nothing particularly out of the ordinary happened inbetween. We built sandcastles like we do every time we head beachwards; a troupe of orange bouys shimmying on the waves behind. We rolled our trousers up and disappeared up to near our knees in freezing water. Dogs were waved at, horses were pointed out and badly mimicked. We smashed the sandcastles before retiring to the same cafe table where we polished off crepes and coffee last time… to polish off crepes and coffee.
I’m not great at living in the moment. When I manage it, it’s like the emotional equivalent of an unexpected ear-pop. When you didn’t realise your ears were anyway blocked to begin with, or your hearing dulled. That instant oh! followed by the fleeting satisfaction from a noticeably sharper reception from World FM. It comes in somewhere on the hierachy of lesser celebrated bodily thrills between a lipwax and a bitten nail grown back.
These occasional heart-pops remind me of the hinderances posed by pre-occupations. How they threaten to rob the water of its turquoise. Add a drop of complacency, and the dramatic mountains get shoved into the background. Had I a camera with me, I’d have captured it all. Our girl high up on her Dad’s shoulders, delighted with her methodology of relocating washed-up seaweed back to the sea, ignoring the horse I was enthusiastically pointing at, and side-stepping the tiny crabs playing alive while dead on the sand.
Perhaps if I had a camera, there wouldn’t have been anything worth capturing. Like many of the best moments in life, they were uneventful, unhunted, and I had experienced them already. I’ll know for again. And I can Google images of crepes anytime.
Non-photoshopped crepes (yeah, right)