Mercena’s First Sea

Mercena first ocean

(Why am I naming days?)

12/28/14, Day 14,517 (Mercena Day 135): Mercena’s First Sea

It would have been a big enough day already if she had only seen the ocean for the first time.

We’re staying with my parents on Cape Cod for the holiday, and Mercena had slept through our previous jaunts to the shore. This time, we left soon after she woke from a nap in order to increase our chances of her staying awake until we reached Millway Beach. She stayed bright-eyed through most of our wended way through Barnstable Village, past the old graveyard with its Crockers and Ellises and unnamed stones, until she nodded off before the harbor bridge with its futile sign, “no diving.”

She was only asleep for two minutes, but was groggy after we lifted her out of the stroller to face the ocean air. Millway looks out over a little patch of ocean that separates the Cape from Sandy Neck and the small colony of homes where I used to spend my summers. She woke up to her first ocean breeze, her first waves, her first crying gull. Heather lifted up some sand into Mercena’s view and let it slip from her fingers.

Living by and in and with the ocean was a central part of my growing up but it will not be so for my daughter. We’re city people now, and she’ll be a city kid. Still, to see her look out at the ocean and feel my own sense of longing somehow doubled…

This was also the first day she ever really saw what a dog can do. Ru, my parents’ young German Shepard, was staying in doggie daycare the first few days of Christmas to prevent any problematic scenarios between a young dog and young children. She’s been amazing since her return, and Mercena loves to watch the dog catch the balls of newspaper my dad hurls into the air for her to snatch with mesmerizing dog-grace. She could watch The Dog Show all day.

If you can believe it, yesterday was also the first day she every put her fingers to a piano. We have a keyboard in NYC, but we haven’t brought that out yet for her to play, and I’m grateful we waited for her to experience the real thing.

All of this would have been more than enough to make yesterday a major day in Mercena’s life, but we also had our first injury scare when she nearly poked her eye with a coffee stirrer as we sat drinking cappuccinos at Nirvana Cafe in the Village. She only poked an inch below her eye, but in the moment it seemed much worse. It took some time for us all to settle down.

Maybe because these days are so full here on the Cape, or maybe because she’s sleeping in a new room for the first time, or maybe because she’s going through another growth spurt, or maybe for no reason at all, she is having major trouble sleeping again. Short naps, wailing when we put her down and wailing when she wakes,  waking too many times in the night. We’re tired, and will need a vacation from our vacation.

She’s waking up again from her nap, so I can’t writ much more, but I’ve slipped with these updates again and didn’t want to miss a day like yesterday.

Published by CorinnaSchulenburg

Artist and Activist

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