While out walking with Layla, we happened upon a young mother and her (between 3-4 year old?) child. Her bike, with a trailer, was awaiting her return at the end of the dune path.
In hooded sweatshirts, both mother and child were sitting spraddle-legged with four big plastic buckets in front of them. Mom’s two buckets were almost full of sand. The little boy’s buckets were about half-full.
“We have to re-supply our sand box each year,” said Mom.
Her son watched us, but did not add to the conversation.
“This is the best way to get our sand,” added Mom.
As we left Mom and Son putting more sand into their buckets, I was reminded of a time many years ago when my now 70-year-old cousin was visiting our Grandparents on their ranch.
“He won’t eat his cereal,” said Grandma.
“That’s not real milk,” said our six-year-old city cousin.
“Of course it’s real milk, Grandpa just milked this morning,” said Grandma, who typically had a lot of patience with all her grandchildren, but who was beginning to show a bit of fray around the edges.
“No it’s not,” answered our determined cousin.
“Well, it’s exactly what you drink every day at home,” said Grandma.
“It is not. Real milk comes in bottles and the man puts them on your front doorstep and Mama puts the bottles in the refrigerator,” said our city cousin.
I remember everyone starting to laugh and I clearly remember the horror on my cousin’s face when he was told that those cows out in the pasture were the ones where milk came from—not the delivery man’s glass bottles.
I wonder how long it took my city cousin to enjoy cow’s milk again?
So back to our sand story. I wonder how many children, playing in sand boxes all over the world, have ever had the opportunity to actually scoop up actual beach sand? I wonder how much we all love that experience of building sand sculptures on the beach as related to the child in us who couldn’t quite get a big enough sand box to play in?
May your children experience the natural world, understanding and appreciating the beauty of original form. Perhaps we will have stronger advocates for environmental sustainability if our children can be a part of that natural world.
Be gentle with our world and our children.