Saturday, February 21, 2015

the best gift

I was knelling on the floor helping Beach carefully box up 3 medals made of glass. 

Beach was far more fascinated by the boxes than the awards she had won. As soon as they announced boxes were available she rushed to get hers. 

She showed me the silky interior, the indented circle for the medal face, and announced the color was the "best" blue. 

"Aren't these boxes just beautiful?" She asked me holding them up.  
I was kneeling at her feet looking up into her smiling face thinking how lucky I was to have this kid in my life when I heard a mom from the sea of people squeezing by us say, "No, you leave those on I want people to see them when I am walking with you." 

As the woman twisted to grab the shoulders of her child our eyes met.   

Practically standing over me she looked down on me and at the stack of boxes in my hand, and then to Beach. 
Smiling Beach. Smiling, struggling Beach. The kid fighting a 10 second pause on beam before her series- the series she fell on. The kid asking from the backseat of the car through tears, "When is my dad coming back?" Wonderful, funny, honest, sweet Beach.

The look on the woman's face gave me the feeling we were the last pair of people she would have wanted to have heard her say that.

Her daughter looked at Beach, passing a weak smile of recognition; they had been on the podium together. Then awkwardly under the weight of her mother she was taken away.

At first Beach and I just stared at each, both us feeling almost guilty for them witnessing us being us, and us seeing them being them. 

In the wake of them I didn't know what to say to my own child but she knew what needed to be said. 

"That was really sad, mom. I feel bad for that girl- and her mom. That must really suck."

I stood up and Beach asked, "Can I see one of the boxes, they are so cool!"  

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