I remember taking my oldest daughter
to the beach,
slathering her in sunscreen
and securing the frilly, floppy hat
over her red curls.
The rest of the day was spent
walking behind her, picking up the hat
and replacing it on her head.
Worst sunburn I’ve ever had.
I remember my toddler son chasing seagulls
across the sand,
arms outstretched, Gilligan hat on his head,
always on his tiptoes,
heals never touching the sand.
He would turn back to look at us,
point at the skittering birds
and laugh as a carefree child
ought to laugh.
I remember my youngest daughter’s
first time at the beach, still too young to walk.
We would hold her by her hands
and lower her to the sand,
the lower she got the higher she would raise
Not once did she touch sand without crying,
perfectly content to explore
to the edge of the blanket,
and no further.
Somehow, I thought they would always
be that age,
but I do often wonder,
whether it is they,
who I have allowed
to get so old.