Photo from Flickr user Foxtongue
My daughters were flipping through a photo album at my mother's house and began to argue.
"Who's that?" one of them said (Their voices are all beginning to sound the same. I like it. It reminds me of raindrops... soothing and consistent.)
"That's mommy," said another.
"No it's not!"
And so went the argument. It is. It's not. Is too. IS NOT. I was trying to drink a cup of tea and finish up a blanket I'm making for my oldest to take to college: (This is what it should look like when I'm done)
only mine is WAY messier. Anyway... I got up and I went to see what photo they were so worked up about.
It was a woman on a beach. A very thin, beautiful woman. And I couldn't tell if it was me or my mother either.
Now, though many people have said we look alike, I've never been able to see my reflection in her perfect features. My mother looks like a movie star. Judge for yourself: Even fuzzy she's amazing.
And here's me:
And that woman on the beach? She looked like both of us, so I had to reconsider my face. I suppose I do look like my mom. Only she's way more amazing. The point of all this nonsense is that I couldn't tell who it was or when it was taken until I saw the shoes.
The woman was stretched out on a towel and behind her were two pairs of shoes. One pair of red Dr. Scholls and one pair of white sandals. Child size with big buckles.
I remember those shoes. Those were my shoes.
The woman was my mother. And in that moment I was transported to that day on the beach.
Sweet relief from the hot, hot red Volkswagen beetle with no AC. An impromptu trip with no bathing suits so we went into the sea with our clothes on. There were extra towels in the trunk "Thank you sweet lord!"
She smoked and sat in the sun while I made holes. I liked to dig holes and pretend I was an archeologist.
Our life was full of all those magical moments. The problems were hidden in the in-between places.
Anyway, when I came out of the memory my mom was next to me. "Yep, that's me," she said.
"NO WAY!" said my girls.
"Little witches!" said my mother as she walked into the kitchen laughing.
Sandals. Beach sand. Summers that don't end.
I'm going to make one of those this year. A pile of mingled shoes. A beach photo. A legacy of love.