The things she carries

Our Julia Elizabeth.

Pre-teen and pre-game.

She’s got a water bottle I hope is full, incredibly smelly extra soccer socks, more color-coordinated hair bands, the “other” jersey, Chapstick and duffel tags from dozens of other soccer tournaments.

I’m just toting the camera and a chair to perch on the sideline. But I’m carrying the terrified thrill of new-mom joy at our incredibly pink, raven-haired newborn; our first night in the hospital when I fell head-over-heels in love; toddler trials like the time I locked her (and the car keys) in the car, which was long before OnStar; hilarious preschool antics; magical moments baking in the kitchen (salt is not the same as sugar); the evening she read her first book “all by myself” ; every scrap of paper she ever scribbled a masterpiece on; and the more recent image of her sunburned shoulders draped in white hotel sheets while she slept this morning. 

She doesn’t carry all that. She’s headed to the field, her teammates and the action of another hour of play.  

I’m eager to take in another batch of memories to carry with me forever. And take the edge off the teen-age years while I try to focus on the simple, blessed, pure joy that first night in the hospital … yet again.

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One thought on “The things she carries

  1. Beautiful, heartfelt commentary, my Number One Daughter. Indeed, the memories last forever. During struggle times of raising one’s children, I remember often reflecting on warm, treasured memories from times past. When on a temporary plateau, smooth or anxious, the memories ease one through or back to the positive. I remember more than one conversation with my father-in-law, Dick Mack, in which I questioned, “I’m scared about the teen years. How will I get through it?” He helped me develop the successful game-plan: you take it one day at a time. Having a solid and strong foundation, the future days unfold, lessons are learned or reinforced, happiness and contentment for both parent and child reign supreme. Life goes on and, each day, we are stronger, more humble, yet satisfied. The rewards of parenting are unmatched. I’m pleased that you have a rich supply. I love you, Elizabeth. Dad

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