Trek to the Mermaid
When the girls would ask to see the city we were living in “on your computer” only one real image pulled up for our city–a statue of a mermaid. So in all of the pictures they would draw, all the conversations they were in with people asking where they were moving, and all their daydreams they would fill me in on had a common theme. IT HAS A MERMAID! Right there on the beach!
I built up the mermaid quite a bit in times of desperation, fighting off homesick bugs, etc. so I knew it is something we would have to go visit as soon as we arrived. I also built up grand images in my head of the girls in their Christmas dresses posing for the camera sitting on the mermaid statue.
I had forgotten about things like low tide, high tide, slippery rocks, one daughter who is terrified of the ocean—oh and that I have two babies. Simple things like walking out to a statue through tide pools, thousands of rocks, and crabs darting in and out of every crevice…don’t end up being that simple. Sure even if you just had a bit older of kids this would not be a task you would think twice about. So my dreams of grandiose Christmas pictures went out the window fast. But there was something about that mermaid—we had to get out there.
Abby and I only had to try once, two adults stayed behind to take care of the two babies and Cameron. A few slips, holding hands very tightly, and loosing a shoe once or twice were the only casualties. Taking Cameron out…was a different matter. Poor girl is terrified of the ocean, her one liner about it is, “It feels like it is going to grab you and suck you in.” She won’t walk near it, won’t even walk where there is 1/2 an inch on the sand. But she surprised me, she still wanted to see the mermaid. Until I figured out the tide schedule we went out when it was impossible. Once we just tried and Cameron was being so brave, she was talking to herself the whole time. “The ocean….the ocean…I can do it…I am five now…the mermaid…mommy is here.” When it started not to work and we both knew it she changed her tune. “You know I think the ocean will be for me when I am six…yes six….six is old enough…the sharks….the sharks will get me….mom the waves….the waves are coming….hurry mom….lets get out of here!” But the silly kid still wanted to try again–and this time we did it! But unlike her sister she noticed all the crabs climbing all over the statue and wanted to get out of there and fast. She was proud of herself for doing it.
I love that statue and I can’t quite put my finger on why. Perhaps it means we really accomplished our dream. Or maybe it represents (lets ignore the fact that mermaids in some stories can be conniving vixens) what I want my daughters to become. Strong women. She has a certain mystique to her that makes me wonder what her story is.
What I can put my finger on is while walking with both my daughters hand in hand to and from the mermaid it was a special experience. I sure do love them so. Things have been a bit rough with me and the kids. Four has been a hard number for me, having two babies at once (even though I did it five years ago) is tough. I just hope that they remember the sweet times too. My sweet girls, Mommy will get it together and get used to four kids, I pray soon!