Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"A Snapshot"

Moments of time stay frozen in my mind, like snapshots of my past. These moments weave together and create a blanket that I often pull out and in which I wrap myself. Small pieces of time, where I felt special as a child, a sibling, a wife, and a mother, make up this cloth. Some memories stay with me sharply, making me aware of how important life’s moments become.
           If I close my eyes and I inhale deeply, I can slip back to an earlier time. I can still catch the sharp, cutting scent of salt and brine as I opened the car door and let Galveston’s aromas enter my world. Gray waves battered against the sea wall’s granite, and sea gulls cried, “Feed me! Feed me!” as they swooped about our heads.
           Eagerly, I pulled Paul from his car seat, his teddy bear body warm in my embrace. He squirmed, twisting away from me, reaching for Poppy’s eager arms. My dad swung Paul onto his shoulders and headed toward the beach with David and me trailing behind.
           Ahead of us, I watched Poppy swing Paul to the hot sand, whip off the child’s sandals, and laugh deeply as Paul whooped with delighted glee. I quickly took off my own shoes, David mirrored me, and we felt the sun scorched sand grate against our feet. Paul hopped from foot to foot, skipping to the water’s edge to let the undulating waves softly stroke his burning toes. He dashed up and down the water’s edge and gloried in the wonder of salty sea wind, cool water, and rough sand. His small legs carried him back and forth into the waves and onto the sand. With wonder in his eyes, he turned to Poppy.
     Poppy bent to his grandson, pointed at a pile of sea weed. The two watched in amazement as crabs scuttled from the mesh. Paul’s giggle blended in with the cry of the gulls and the clang of distant ships’ bells.
           I realized the wonderful gift grandfather gave to grandson: wind, sand, seaweed and ocean. A world beyond the backyard and the pond at home. A world filled with wonder. At that moment, I knew just how special my role as parent made me. Mother’s give their children more than hugs and kisses each morning and lull-a-byes each night.
           In an instant, I saw how special my role would make me. I joined Poppy and Paul in a twirling, swirling dance in and out of the waves. As dusk fell, I held Paul’s small, warm hand in mine—making a link to our future.

Copyright 2008 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

All parents carry snapshots of the first time their child experiences some new aspect of our world. These mental photo albums, for me, provide a wonderful source for my writing.

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