As I write this it’s January 2013. You are two and a half years old and tucked up fast asleep in bed.
But by the time (if) you come to read this letter and story by yourself, these days of toddler dictatorship will likely be a distant memory.
Gone will be the evenings when you liked a bedtime story from your mum. I expect you’re now into having “your own space” and find me desperately uncool. Sorry about that.
As uncool as I probably am, I’d like to tell you a story. It’s one you like at the age of two.
This story wasn’t written down in a book. There are no pictures, except for the ones in your head. It’s a story I made up a couple of weeks ago when you couldn’t get to sleep.
It’s now your favourite and you regularly ask for it. Much to your delight, I’ll sit by your bed and stroke the hair away from your face while I softly tell you about the house made of sand. Over and over again. (You’re not very good at accepting when the story has come to an end.)
Anyway, here it is.
The Sand House
Freya was two years old. She had a mummy and a daddy and a cuddly toy she liked to call Geoffrey. He was new.
Freya lived in a very old house. It was so old it had wonky walls and rickety floorboards. The house was near fields and a river. But there was no beach. Freya liked the beach.
In the summer, Freya would sit in a sandpit in her little garden and pretend she was at the beach, but it wasn’t the same. There was no sea for starters. And no shells.
One morning Freya woke up to find her mummy and daddy very busy, trying to pack all her favourite things into a big suitcase. “No Mummy!” She cried. She didn’t like her things being messed with.
“We’re going on an adventure to visit your grandparents in their new house,” explained Freya’s mum. “Now be good and sit still in your car seat”.
Freya stopped fidgeting and looked out of the car window. She saw fields and bikes and trees before drifting off to sleep.
When she woke up, she could hear something loud and rumbly.
Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.
Freya was scared. She opened one eye and saw lots and lots of blue. There was blue sky and blue water. Everywhere.
“Wake up Freya,” said Freya’s daddy. “This is the seaside.”
That afternoon Freya played on the beach. She built castles of sand and collected shells, placing them carefully in a little plastic bucket. She dipped her toes in the cold sea and laughed as the waves tickled her feet.
Freya spent every day doing the same thing. She played on the beach with her mum and dad, her grandma and her granddad.
But then it was time to go home, back to her little house by the river and the field. She didn’t want to go. She wanted to stay by the sea always.
As the sea whispered and whooshed, Freya’s daddy had an idea. “I could make a house!” he said. “We can’t afford a big house on the hill, but I could make one right here, on the sand.”
And with that, he got to work. Freya’s dad worked all night.
While she slept in her warm, cosy bed at grandma’s house, Freya’s daddy made lots of bricks of sand and placed them one on top of the other. By the time Freya woke up in the morning, she had a new house. It was a big house, made entirely of sand.
As Freya walked around her new sand house she gasped with excitement. She had a sand bed and a sand window, a sand rug and a sand chair.
Every night, Freya fell to sleep as the waves Whoosh Whooshed and the moon made patterns that danced on the water.
The house wasn’t perfect though. Freya often found sand in her cereal and socks. Her sand bed was a bit itchy and she could never shut the sand window to keep out the Whoosh Whoosh of the sea.
After a while, Freya decided she didn’t want to live in a sand house any more. Packing up her suitcase, she waved goodbye to her mummy and daddy and moved in next door with her grandparents, back to her warm and cosy bed.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough room for everyone.
Freya’s mummy and daddy had to make do with sandy cereal and sandy socks forever more. But sometimes, when Freya was feeling generous, she’d bring them a sandwich for breakfast from Grandma’s house.
She was nice like that.
** The End **