It was the summer of 1974 and just like Neil Young's hit song, I wanted to be On The Beach. I was five years old craving to stand on the fringes of the toasted-marsh mellow- sandy-waters edge and count how long the incoming and receding water would take to cover my feet. My cool teenaged brothers refused to take me, their desire was running to the school playground, letter L sticks in hand and hit a little round rubber black disk across the hardtop while curving and racing around on 4 wheeled shoes not taking "Bimm" to the beach. Resigned to the fact that I wasn't going to be living the life of a beach baby, I drudgingly tagged along with my brothers like always.
The playground on the edge of where my brothers were playing hockey with their friends held a draw for me. I was wearing my favorite mustard yellow shirt with the letters S-A-N-D-Y on the front- people weren't afraid of children wearing their names anywhere on their personage in those days. My best friends Rosa and Patrick were already at the school ground when I arrived and so I challenged them to a race; the ultimate thing to do on that hot sticky playground for me was to jump up onto the black banana shaped seat hold onto the rusty silver chain and pump my legs like crazy to beat my friends higher into the air. As usual, I am the last to get the loft - I have shorter legs than the other two- but with a soaring spirit and blond piggy tails flapping behind me, I reach the threshold of height the swing will allow me to go and I am in heaven... sometime later I hear my name called and there is my step-mommy Jayne- she has heard that I wanted to go to the beach and came to take me there. I say goodbye to my friends and run off after mommy.
Holding hands we skip along singing 'A tisket, A tasket, a green and yellow basket,' to the beach blocks away. As we make our way through dolphin playground to the beach we talk about everything- friends, my brothers, my dad and his bike riding and her work at the local grocery store. We arrive at the beach and I notice she has a beach bag and picnic basket. We settle our belongings near the Lifeguard stand. I am in love with the Lifeguard stand- it looks like such a great place to sit and feel important- grownup. We take a little break to eat lunch. While munching on chunky peanut butter and velveeta cheese sandwiches we soak in the sun. Drinking warming milk from a cardboard milk container, I start aching to get to the water. I beg to go.. mommy knows that I can't sit still anymore... So off we go!
Mommy points out shells as we dance to the waters edge, my toes are tingling with anticipation, stepping into the water; I feel as if there is no where in the world I would rather be than here in this moment. We stand dead still, digging our toes deeper into the wet slimy sand to help the process and while we stand there, my mommy tells me about the day that I was born not under her heart but in it. This is the day that I learn about unconditional love, the day that a woman named Jayne showed me that no matter who gave birth to me I was her daughter.