Sand Castles

The other day I was on the beach with my daughter, her cousin, and our nanny. Under the rays of a beautiful sun, we exercised our architectural skills to the utmost by building the biggest sand castle on the beach that day.
It had a moat, tall walls, a gate through the wall, and a long canal to the sea. It was also decorated with a row of kelp and had a seagull feather, flapping proudly in the wind as the castle’s flag. (Actually, this huge castle really looked like an overgrown bathtub but it was fun to build nevertheless.)
The castle and its construction soon attracted several other kids who cheerfully asked if they could help build it with us. We gleefully said yes as our backs were aching and if they were going to dig and haul sand for you, why not?
During the building, one boy came up to me and said to me that this was fun and cool that we were building this huge castle. And then, he said to me that it was cool to see me building it and that his mom and dad never helped him build sand castles.
My moment of architectural triumph switched to feelings of pity for this boy. Why was it that his parents did not build sand castles with him?
It also got me thinking about the times I went in to my daughter’s class and read stories to them before class officially started. I asked her teacher about how many kids’ fathers go in and read, and it turned out to be about 5 of us who did it, and only 3 of us who vied for the position of number one Dad for the class. And this out of a class of 20+ toddlers.
In my observations on people, I have noticed many things. People get really caught up in their careers and their personal interests. And they won’t let them go, even for their children. I can’t help but think about children who don’t get a deep involvement from their parents. There is a less of a connection with them as the parents are too busy to play or interact with them. There is no time to read to their classes or build sand castles with them.
I can only say that life is tough sometimes and I’m not saying we need to give up our individuality or our interests as people and parents. But I for one am not going to miss some of the best formative and loving years with my daughter, and being involved in her life is something I strive to do always.
When was the last time you built a sand castle with your kid?