The Sandcastle

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
another writing assignment.

Submitted: June 22, 2012

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Submitted: June 22, 2012




The middle child of four girls, I had one very busy stay at mother, who taught us all that the most important skill was the ability to reason, question and figure out a solution to any problem presented to us. Something that she, I am sure, regretted many times. A three year old coming to a logical conclusion will always come to a conclusion that an adult really does not agree with.

We lived in a two story house; ground floor was the garage and basement in the front, and a one bedroom flat that looked out over the back yard. A flight of thirteen pebble-embedded concrete stairs lead from the paved barbeque area up to the laundry behind the house; and provided ample shelter for the motley assortment of bikes and trikes that huddled beneath them. Just beyond the paving slabs was a large back yawn, dotted with playhouses, swimming pool and sand pit, all the detritus of an active outdoor childhood.

I was an adventurous child, spending my days clambering up onto the furniture, always having the feline urge to see exactly how high up I could get. Anything I saw was fair game for climbing, trees, furniture, and rocks, anything that stood still long enough. My logical conclusion was that if it stood still and was taller than me, I needed to be on top of it. I loved running up and down the concrete stairs, many layers of skin were left on the edge of those stairs as I skidded down them in less than ideal weather, I loved the hollow echoing sound the concrete made as I jumped from tread to tread.

One morning I woke up determined to build the biggest castle I could in the sandpit. One of those child-hood urges that will not be denied. One glance out the window and I could see the small flaw in my plan, it was raining. But, undeterred, I announced to my rather harried mother who was simultaneously trying to get my older sister out the door to school and my younger sisters – twins – fed and settled again, that I was going to build a sand castle today. I probably should have realized that the resounding no, and the rain, meant that my construction plans needed to be delayed, but, being a child trained to think and reason things out, I instantly looked for a way to actually make it happen.

Sitting on the laundry floor, tiny nose pressed to the glass, watching rain streaming down, small droplets leaping back up from the wooden deck right outside I thought longing of the moat I had planned for my castle. Suddenly the bright idea hit me, my mother had said “you can’t play outside” she didn’t say I couldn’t play inside. I trekked industriously up and down the back stairs, usually curly hair plastered to my head by the rain, my small blue sand bucket carting load afterload of sand up into the laundry.

Plopping down onto the lino floor, I built the huge castle I had dreamt of, with the addition of generous amounts of water from the laundry taps, at least, the water that didn’t escape under the washing machine or the dryer. I was so proud of my castle, complete with moat and drowning Barbie Doll princess. I thought I had come up with the perfect logical solution to the problem of the rain. My Mother, unfortunately, did not share my enthusiasm for my deductive reasoning.

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