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  • Writer's pictureKatie Lane-Karnas

My Beach Body

Child sits on rocky ocean shoreline looking out at ocean, wearing a hoodie and facing away.

Do you ever discover a place where your child is not too loud, too fast, too excited, too disruptive, too BIG?

I took my kids on a very long drive to the ocean for a day trip one year. The waves drowned out my child’s loud, constant, enthusiastic noise—her noise fit in just fine.

The vast sandy beach absorbed and was equanimous about her percussive and wild movements. Her desire to dig, throw, roll, draw and destroy, and be buried was received.

I was struck by the beach body’s acceptance of us. And the vacancy of charged emotional judgment from other people.

The enormity of the ocean itself dwarfed its many human visitors. We gazed out, transfixed, and smiled breezily at the young humans, really too small in comparison to the ocean to be overwhelming or triggering.

My soon-naked, alternately impulsive and deeply focused, effervescent child was just a blip in the periphery of a contemplative scene, accepted easily by all the other visitors.

The waves at ocean’s edge continued ceaselessly, frothing and swallowing. Predictable and scary. My child kicked, screamed, laughed, sang, punched, and whispered endlessly to them. Her unencumbered physical and personal relationship continued, uninterrupted by adult upset, for gratifying hours.

I wish to remember the beach body. To remember in my body Her holding of a very human experience; Her neutrality in the face of wild roars and heartfelt whispered confidences. When I start to compare my child, I wish to compare bigness, loudness, anger and passion in relationship to Hers.

To remember my child fits in just fine in a beach body.

Sand, ocean, and sky without humans.

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