Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Sandman

I am so small all I see are their legs. Eight posts surrounding me as we walk. From time to time one of them will pick me up so they can get there faster. On the way home, sticky and tired, they will bicker about whose turn it is to carry me. I keep track of them by their hair. Two girls. The elders. A red head and a brunette. Two boys. Another dark head and one as pale as my own.

They are teenagers. They want to have fun. This appendage is a nuisance but they try. I am swooped up in snug arms and we head for the water. I am safe. I know I am. Gentle swells appear as mountains overtaking me. "It's alright," I hear. A girls voice. "I've got you."

"See we are floating over?" "Weee!"

I am terrified. No. I want to go back. To the sand.

It's hot and humid and no one wants to leave the water. "You take her. No, you take her."

We sit on the white sand. It sticks to our damp legs as we dig a hole. Like in the Robert Louis Stevenson poem my mother reads to me,

"In every hole the sea came up till it could come no more."

Grainy and wet we take handfuls and drip them slowly through our thumbs and forefingers in grayish clumps. Like melted wax they build up in a pointed tower. A medieval castle dotted with tiny flecks of lavender shell. Bits of coquina that scratch our fingers. My feet sit in a squishy puddle that feels heavenly on my toes. I wiggle them around to make it mush more.

After a time the tide recedes. The puddle dries up. I am bored and tired and hot and sandy. The recipe for a tantrum. They are back and forth to the water. They are teenagers. They don't want to leave. I am crying. He says, "I'll watch her." We sit against giant black boulders where the sand is softest. It sifts and blows through our fingers in the wind. They came unarmed with toys beyond a large kitchen spoon. "Do you want to go swimming?" No. " Do you want to make a castle?" I do.

He tries to create a fortress in the dry sand but it won't work. We don't have the tools. Spindly, early teens, limbs and sunburned ears sticking out from beneath his hair. His head, whiter than the sand itself, is bent with determination. And finally frustration. "I can make you a snow man," he says.Yes. Snow is as foreign to me as my world might be to a Siberian but I know what a snowman looks like. He digs a little to the cooler, slightly damp sand below the surface and grabs handfuls. He stoops,   carefully shaping the ball. I am enthralled. Smoothing his fingers along the surface he props them on top of each other, about a foot tall, leaning against the boulder for support. I am delighted as we search for bits of shell and sticks to complete him.

I sit.  Gritty, sticky and tired but happy and overcome with love and hero worship.
When it is time to go I don't want to leave my treasure behind.

My big brother was magic.

He made a Snowman out of Sand.

This post is inspired by The Red Dress Club   RemembeRed Prompt : Sand

I love this memory and couldn't resist. But participating in anything makes me feel like I'm gonna throw up, so I'm going to push publish as fast as I can now and then run!

© 2011 All Rights Reserved


  1. What a beautiful memory! Your big brother is awesome.

  2. i had a bit of hero worship for my big brother for oh so long to. he taught me how to shoot a basketball and bought me my first one. he taught me to drive stick shift, in HIS car. i hope i can teach my boys well enough that they she will find whatever they do a bit magic so they should be careful.

  3. although, come to think of it. maybe you and i were in a unique spot with our big brothers, with such a gap in age. maybe not knowing them as intimately in some ways allowed for the magic. maybe when your big brother is only 2 years older than you there isn't any mystery......

  4. I could picture every word. I was always the oldest, so it's interesting to read about the older siblings.

  5. What a great memory! There is something special about the relationship between older and younger siblings.

  6. What a special memory! Glad you decided to share.

  7. I never had a brother, or an older anything. This is cool.

  8. Ohhhhhh and I'm glad you hit publish. What a beautiful story.

  9. So sweetly written. My step-son would do things like that for his little sister...he makes magic for her with guitars and chases. ;)

  10. Alison@MWT: Yes, he was : )

    Elissa: For such a big age gap he was always very good to me. He included me alot.

    The Schweitzers: Thanks for reading. I always was the youngest and they all played big parts in my life in different ways.

    Jackie: I think so. I have had different levels of closeness with each of them at different periods of my life. Thanks for reading : )

    Ms.A: Thank you. I share a lot here but get anxious about putting it out there beyond my safe little blog world : )

    Bibliomama: Allison I had a nice set. It was pretty fun.

    Stephanie: Thank You So Much! Thanks for reading too : )

  11. What a sweet, sweet ending!

  12. How sweet! I'm very impressed...with your writing and your brother too.

  13. My daughter and I made a sandman - LOL, and here we thought we were being original.
    I remember this story, only I was the big kid and my brother was the little one.
    Next time .. I'm bringing more to play with. ;)

  14. Cheryl: Thank you! I appreciate you coming by : )

    AE: Thanks : ) He was very patient when I was little.

    le Chef: Lovely! I like that. You are a great big sister and Mom too : )

  15. I love your big brother! He was so good to you.

  16. I loved how I didn't know that you were the younger sister until the very end.

  17. This is so sweet - and the start is so intriguing! I'm an only child, and other people's memories make me glad that my children are not...

  18. Very cool - I wondered at first if the narrator was human or not. And strangely it made me think of an elderly person trying to keep up with the energy of youth. Great memory!

    Thanks for visiting my blog :)

  19. He so was magic!!

    I love that he stayed behind to sit with you and that he made you a snowman out of sand. Such a precious memory.

  20. What a sweet, lovely memory! It must have been so special to you that you can still remember the details even now. I've heard that big brothers are good to have around.

  21. Business calls and I'm on my way out the door this morning so a quick:


  22. This is brilliant and beautiful! Just took my breathe away, really! What a lovely memory and how beautifully told! Thank you!


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