The beach is cold, an oddity for August. Goosebumps rather than relief breeze over us as the wind comes off the ocean. We sit in the sand, making upside-down bucket buildings. ONE stares into the water, watching the kids on their boogie boards. She’s silent, her stare intense. She looks like me. Not physically. No, physically she resembles her dad. And most of the time she’s like him socially, too. Outgoing, funny, sweet. In fact, if I hadn’t birthed her I might be suspicious.
“I’m going to do it,” she announces, and drags her board to the water’s edge.
“I’m not,” says TWO, who also got a boogie board the other day, but has since decided she prefers the ocean and sand separate, like her meat and vegetables.
I watch ONE position herself in the sand, just out of the water’s reach. She stares over her shoulder at the kids for a bit, and then at the water. The tide is low. It laps at her feet, occasionally getting close enough to deposit sand in the bottom of her bathing suit.
She’s so lost in thought it’s making me curious. What’s going on in her head? I’m lost in thought more often than vocal, but nothing brings me out of myself faster then her quiet demeanor. It makes me feel excluded. Like I’m missing something. I wonder if I come across that way to others.
ONE starts writing in the sand. “I love D…”
She’s writing, “I love Daddy.” Thoughts of her daddy were keeping her quiet. She misses him. Of course she does. Why wouldn’t she? It’s so cute I’m overwhelmed with love for my family, for what we’ve created together. That she would think of him while we’re at the beach fills my heart to overflowing. I snap photos, planning to send them to my husband. How could he not melt when…
She loves DC? Really? What, is she homesick? Hmmmm. Well, okay, it’s not as heartwarming as loving her Daddy, but it’s nice to see that she has pride for her country. That all of our trips into the city have had an impact. I mean, I enjoy DC, too. I like that it only takes a few minutes to get there. And I’m pretty sure I have other shots from the day to send my husband. Or maybe I’ll just send him the “I love D…” and let his eyes fill in the blanks.
“I love DCA?” The airport? She’s only been on two planes, why would she write that? And how would she even know that the airport has a code, let alone what it is? I walk a little closer, and then I understand. the last character isn’t an “A.” It’s a cupcake.
She’s written, “I love DC Cupcakes.”
Of course she does.
Why wouldn’t she?
She’s my child, no doubt. She may not look like me, but she’s like me where it counts–in essentials.
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