The Catching Days

Years ago I wrote a poem called “The Sandcastle Days” capturing life with little kids at the beach. Seeing our kids discover and fall in love with such a special place to me was like unwrapping an all-time favorite gift for the first time.

Seven years later, our family spent fall break at that same beach, and I remembered the poem and read it to the kids. They laughed seeing their pictures: short and sandy legs, little shovels, colored floaties, round cheeks and big smiles. It made me cry, not because I miss those days, but because I am thankful to be their mom and see them grow into who they are.

At ages 11, 9 and 7, life looks so different now. That season paved the way for this one. And this one is special in a totally different way; it’s the sweet spot between toddler and teenager, between diapers and driving. The kids are old enough for adventures, but too young to go on them without us. They are curious, responsible and relational, but their favorite people are still us.

Their ages were my favorite of childhood, so to see this season through their eyes is a precious gift. With full and fast days, it’s a gift I rarely have time to reflect on. So I decided at the beach that the “Sandcastle Days” needed a sequel. I asked Mary, John and Anna what they would name this season of life. They thought about it and Mary quickly replied, “These are the Catching Days!”

I hope you enjoy:

The Catching Days

Mom, I caught one,
Come and see!
Another crab,
Aren’t you proud of me?

We caught some fish way out there,
We swim out deep; we are not scared.
But you’re the first one we show
When we’ve caught something on our own.

I caught a lizard in my net,
Can I make it a habitat?
I will fill it with some grass,
I learned how in Science class.

Here comes a wave, we can catch it,
Will you watch us ride?
Come on out, you won’t get cold
Or caught up in that tide.

We’ll catch a wave, a joke, a ball,
A thought you have that’s not so small,
Sand dollars, jellyfish,
The wonder of a great big wish.

Throw out some humor—it’s contagious,
Deep thoughts to us are not outrageous.
Our minds are the perfect combination
Of reality and imagination.

Crab hunts,
Bike rides,
Dance parties,
Water slides,
Snorkeling, paddle boats, and more,
These things are no longer beyond our shore.

Sandbars are a celebration,
Shirley Temples on occasion,
We’ll write a story, draw you a picture,
Cook our lunch as an adventure.

Broken bones and injuries
Will keep us praying on our knees,
But momma can sleep in peace at night
Knowing childhood hearts have cares still light.

Please tuck us in, I know it’s late
But we still have so much to say.
And you’re the one that we want there
To hear our stories and our prayers.

Our afternoons, they are so crazy
With all the many sports,
Beach days to us, they are amazing
Team Taylor and sand forts.

One team, but we each now
Have different things to say
Listen to our hearts,
Catch them if you may:

Can I wear your shoes?
Mom, I think they’ll fit me!
Balderdash, I can play
Though you may still outwit me.

Both little lady and big kid,
To grow up, I’m so ready.
Please remind me in this in between
That your love is steady.

Dad, will you play catch with me?
Let’s go and throw the ball
Baseball, football, any sport
You want to coach this fall

Don’t I look so tough
In my catcher’s gear?
Hey Dad, can I sit with you?
It’s awesome when you’re near!

I try so hard
To catch up,
At least I’m older
Than the pup

Catch me in a photograph,
My missing teeth will make you laugh.
But my smile will light your world,
I’ll always be your little girl.

These days are full and oh so fast,
Action packed, they are a blast.
Not much time to take them in,
But I wonder if when we get to the end…
If all life’s days came passing by,
If these are the ones we’d want to hold tight.

The sun is setting on this season
Which is one of many reasons
To catch the gift of this day,
To pause, listen, and hear God say…
It’s a delight to invite you to share my view,
And with you, momma, I smile,
How sweet to agree, it’s amazing to see—
The becoming of your child.

The Sandcastle Days

The Sandcastle Days


Will and I took our kids to the gulf for fall break, and words cannot express the joy of seeing the wonder of the beach through their eyes! It felt like they were unwrapping one of mommy’s all-time favorite gifts. Being at the ocean always brings memories flooding back from different phases of my life and moments from each season…the playing days, the laying days, the floating days, the boating days, the skiing days, the freeing days, the thinking days, the drinking days, the sinking days, the feeling days, the reeling days, the healing days, the falling in love days. Will and I discovered this particular beach on our five-year wedding anniversary, not knowing the treasures it would hold. When we thought about our future, we could picture having a family, but we couldn’t quite imagine the fullness of these days…I have named them “The Sandcastle Days”.

This stage of life is one that is incredibly sweet and incredibly consuming all at the same time. I find myself wishing it would never pass and also wishing it would pass soon multiple times a day. It’s a fleeting season of timeless moments with little people I never knew I would love so much. Seeing our kids fall in love with the beach reminded me of the preciousness of this season. I hope you enjoy this poem I wrote to capture this time and bottle it up.

The Sandcastle Days

Mommy, come and play with me.
Let’s build a castle by the sea!
Hold my hand while I touch the wave,
Mommy, mommy I’m so brave!

What is on the other side?
What does it mean when you say tide?
Are there fish and do they bite?
Where do they sleep when it is night?

Look, here comes a great big wave!
Mommy, will you carry me?
Can we dig a great big hole?
Make it big and bury me.

Look I found a little shell,
I hear the ocean like you said.
Can I take it home with me?
Can I keep it by my bed?

There’s a book you want to read,
a picture you should take,
but mommy come and play with me,
this castle needs your help to make.

Mommy, this is so much fun!
There is no need to sit and sun.
Who is that friend you’d like to call
when our castle is about to fall?

Mommy you’re my favorite friend!
I think you hung the moon.
It’s hard to imagine the others
I’ll run to play with soon.

Someone else to fill my mote,
to take me riding on their boat.
You’ll be watching from the shore
wishing for a minute more.

These are the sandcastle days.
Time will wash them far away.
One day we’ll look back and say,
I sure am glad we got to play.

Mommy, you’ll have time alone,
quiet and no hassle.
It’s true, I’ll be leaving you…
so glad we built that castle.

And one day down the road,
I’ll have little ones too.
And when I take them to the beach
I’ll always think of you!