Happy As a Seagull with a Cheeto

PC: Instagram @mvm_frankfurt

Spring Break when you live on the beach means you get to entertain a good bit of company. In my case, it was teenagers who live forty-five minutes and a quarter of a tank of gas away. I’ve had a lot of visitors this week…mostly sandy-footed shower-takers and sun-kissed beach-worshippers who need power naps, and yes I loved every minute of it.

My equally-exhausted teenager has said thank you to me no less than a dozen times over the last few days, for being forgiving of their late nights, for not being super disappointed to find that my brand new bag of Doritos was obliterated in just minutes, for patiently replacing the batteries in all my tv remotes after Fortnite marathons left the whole house lacking in AAs, and mostly for washing towels like I was a Holiday Inn maid. It’s a good thing I enjoy it. Those are the kinds of problems I like to have.

The smell of fabric softener on clean, fat towels makes me feel happy about the whole entire world, like things are in order and at peace in the universe. So with a house full of sweet best friends who seem to shower round-the-clock added to the mix (and who are happy as a seagull with a Cheeto to be on Spring Break) you’ve got my idea of perfect, motherly contentment. Folding and smiling, folding and smiling. More folding.

It’s been a lovely week.

When I come across the extra t-shirts that I’ve never seen before, and the dirty socks and half-empty bottles of sunscreen you accidentally left behind, I will miss you so. All of you.

I am sad too, seeing my empty couch, with the blankets and pillows stacked neatly on the end. It means the house is empty now. You folded those blankets yourself, perfectly, and left everything better than when you found it. Your mamas taught you well in that regard. You are good guests.

I haven’t been able to enjoy very many of your pictures, although I think you probably took lots and showed each other. I want you to remember this time together. It’s as easy as it will ever be in your life. Happy, carefree, breezy moments where the biggest worry you had all week was how to get your hands on a clean, dry bathing suit and to remember where you left your sunglasses.

And figuring out who took your good flip-flops.

I guess I don’t need the pictures. I remember what it looks like to have a full driveway. I remember what a small bedroom with four, sometimes six bodies inside smells like. I can hear your laughing and it will never get old, as long as it quiets before midnight. It was a splendid week with you.

Come back again my sweet boys, and you kind, lovely girls, too. This beach house is yours anytime you need a place to lay your heads.

But back to school tomorrow.

About Dawn Quarles

Dawn Quarles is a high school political science and American history teacher who moonlights as a blogger and writer. She lives on Pensacola Beach, Florida.

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