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.