Once upon a blustery day, there was a sandcastle.
I could just end the story there but, the sandcastle would be disappointed in me. I already have a vacuum with a grudge and a sink with an attitude so let’s not tempt fate.
It wasn’t my sandcastle. It was Evelyn’s. It was built using the age-old, tried and true “pack, dump and pray” technique which was fine until the wind gusts.
Oh the wind.
You can spot a tourist a mile away on the beaches in Oregon. They hear ‘beach’, wear a swimsuit and forget a coat. Amatuers. The word ‘beach’ to an Oregonian means pack for all contingencies and don’t forget the baby powder. Evelyn was 6 and while I did pack everything but the kitchen sink, she wanted her sandcastle to stay built. Weather notwithstanding.
Newsflash: moms can’t control the weather. It’s one of the few superpowers we do not have.
Evelyn tried everything; placing her back to the wind, mixing water and sand to achieve optimal moisture levels but, to no avail. She even tried using a different technique; dig deep, pile high, mold quickly. The sand was just not cooperating.
Evelyn doesn’t handle things that don’t cooperate well. If we’re being honest, she doesn’t handle anything that doesn’t do what she says. Not sure where she gets it from…
Finally, in tears, she gave up. She rolled around in the sand with a tantrum that was both impressive and unfortunate. Then she stopped and said…
“Are we going to come back another day?”
“Okay.” And that was it. Tantrum over.
The promise of another attempt on another day was all she needed.
Shannon Hale says it best “I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”
First drafts are just that...drafts:not only in the ‘a preliminary version of a piece of writing’ sense. They are drafts in the ‘cool air in a confined area’ sense. When I write, I am letting light, space and air inside myself. I am throwing open a window to my mind and soul. It’s not always pretty. The draft could knock a few things askew inside of me. I’ve learned to be okay with that because, after all, it’s just a first draft.
It’s a work in progress.
I’m a work in progress.
To quote one of my favorite kiddos Love is when “we don’t knock down each others castles” and that should include your own.
Don’t knock yourself or others down because you tried and it wasn’t perfect. That’s the nature of the sandcastle. It is also the beauty of the sandcastle.
Allow yourself and others to be a work in progress. Allow them to be sand in the bucket. And show some compassion if the bucket is full and the day is windy.
Because I promise we will come back another day to finish the castle.
and it will be a castle worth the work and wait.