We took this picture, in our own words, to prove we were there.
And today. Today was everything we could have dreamed. It was the More.
Today there were sand castles; both bucket and dribble style. We dug giant holes, so deep that I looked down the beach once and panicked - where's Madeline?!? Then she popped up like a prairie dog and we laughed. We saw bottlenose seal blah blah blah's playing in the surf - diving slowly, lolling over the breakers - only waist-deep in the water. We made sand cakes, decorated with shells and reed-candles, OBVIOUSLY. We drew in the sand. We inspected dead crabs.
We snacked on granola bars and healthy amounts of sand. Sam terrorized sea gulls.
And I have not one single picture of this perfect day.
My phone did a weird thing, as ancient-artifact phones tend to do, and right before we stepped outside it was like, "Oh wait, did you need me to work today? MY BAD."
And listen. Before you think that this is going to be a holier-than-thou "I was liberated from technology and lived in the moment!" post - it's not.
I did not feel even a little bit enlightened. I wish I'd had my phone. If I could change that part, I would. My heart does an achy thing when I think about all the sandy, happy freeze-frames I don't have.
I had to add this day to my mind bank.
I have a treasure box in my mind full of perfect moments uncaptured by film. They'll only last as long as my mind does; when I'm gone, I'll take them with me.
-In my mind bank is a day in the Tuileries Garden in Paris with my little cousins, pushing sailboats around that iconic fountain with a stick. I'd used up all 13 rolls of 35mm film, and since digital cameras only existed in a think tank somewhere and not in the possession of 13-year-old girls, I was out of luck.
-There is also an endangered red hawk, perched feet from me on a fence post, as we were driving home from horseback riding.
-There is the night I felt mother-love for the first time. It wasn't in the hospital, for me. It was at home a week later, at 2:30 am. I didn't want to put Madeline down, and I didn't understand why. I should have wanted to sleep, but I didn't; I wanted to be awake with her. I can still see everything about that moment.
And now there is a perfect beach day with my three children. It was everything a beach day should be, and it's our secret. It is safe in my treasure box with the other moments I've preserved on mind-film.
Do you have a mind bank? What is a moment that's inside? Do you wish you'd had a camera, or are you glad it will only ever be your secret?