Anna stood in front of the full length mirror, twisting to get a look at her new bathing suit. She smoothed her hands down her hips and exposed thighs, a smile on her face. It was her first bathing suit since giving birth that didn’t have a skirt attached to it. Months ago, when planning the summer beach trip, she resolved to lose the “baby weight” she’d gained five years ago. She’d done it. She would spend the week on the beach, building sand castles, throwing a Frisbee, and playing in the surf with Charlie and not watching from a beach chair, a towel strategically draped over her lower half. The confidence she lost so many years ago, bubbled to the surface.
She went to the porch and watched as Charlie poured a bucket of sand over Steve’s foot. He waved at her. “Look, mom! Daddy got attacked by a shark and all that’s left is his head!” Steve exploded out of the sand and chased a screaming and giggling Charlie to the beach house.
“Alright, you two, it’s time for lunch.”
“Aw, mom.” Charlie hung his head.
“If you want to be big and strong like Daddy, you need to eat.” Charlie slogged past her and she grabbed him around the chest. “After lunch, we can build a sandcastle,” she whispered in his ear.
“A big one?” Charlie asked, his blue eyes wide.
“The biggest sandcastle in the world,” she promised.
Charlie threw his arms around her. She kissed his cheek and breathed in the scent of salt, sunscreen, and the little boy smell that was Charlie. He let go, too quickly, and sat down at the table. Anna sat down and watched as he devoured his sandwich. “Slow down, kid. It won’t run away.” He grinned his toothless grin and then he was off, gathering buckets and shovels. Anna shook her head and bit into her sandwich.
“Are you sure you should be eating that?” Steve asked.
Anna froze. “What?”
“It’s not good for your diet.” Steve said, his mouth full.
Anna put her sandwich down. “I haven’t eaten today.”
“Oh. It’s just that it looks like you’ve put on some weight.”
Charlie ran into the room. “Come on, mom. Hurry up!”
Steve stood up. “Come on, sport. We’ll get started. Mom will be out when she’s finished eating.” They jogged out to the edge of the water.
Anna pushed her plate away and walked out onto the porch. She stood for a moment and went back inside. She stared at herself in the mirror–her newfound confidence slipping away, as sand through her fingers. She went to join her family, grabbing her cover-up off the bed as she went.
It’s the first full week of summer here in New England, so to celebrate, take 450 words and write about sand. Whether it be beaches, backyards, or hourglasses, think sandy thoughts and come back on Friday to link up!