This July, we bought our beach cottage in the small hometown where I spent my childhood. I spent thirteen years away, growing into an adult. Everything my child eyes once saw and knew here, that child, now returned, recognizes. She remembers.
Here, I am two versions of myself in the same five minute time span. I walk downtown past the same mom and pop stores that I knew in my childhood. I am seven years old and wondering if my mom will hand me a cherry lollipop from the bank teller if I sit quietly and don’t squeak my shoes on the marble floor. Then a little boy with my same brown eyes takes my hand and whispers “mama” and I am 31, a little girl all grown up. The adult I have become walks alongside the girl who once was.
I ache to tell her all the things I wish I had known.
Curly hair is beautiful. Really, it is. I know it is different but, really, that is a good thing.
She runs her small child fingers across my stomach.
Stretch marks aren’t so bad, she says.
I struggle to believe her.
You get to be a mommy, She breathes in wonder.
Don’t fear, I tell her in return, for He is with you.
Fear not, for He has overcome the world.
She nods understanding. Her eyes dark solemn. On tip toe, she encourages in return. Reminding me of things I once knew:
He’s got your whole world in his hands.
And it is then I realize that perhaps I have traveled 13 years and thousands of miles to discover I knew the most important thing all along. Before I allowed the lies of a broken world to teach me a new song.
So today I sing along with her.:
He’s got you and he’s got me in His hands,
He’s got the whole world in His hands . . .
Together we teach it to our little boy and I thank her for meeting me here.
I am proud of you, she says.
You are lovely, I say.
And for today, we believe it.