As I waded waist deep into the cooling waters of Naragansett Bay, I glanced back toward shore...
... and caught a glimpse of myself at 13.
There I was...hair streaming behind me in the endless breeze, laughing at the waves gently pushing me to and fro.
Something about the cheekbones, the tilt of the head, the uninhibited exhilaration in facing the oncoming waves...
...looked like me.
When I looked closer, the eyes were brown, not blue. The braces I never had were gleaming green and purple in the beaming smile. The summer sun played with the red highlights in the thick, auburn hair in a way it never could in my wispy, dirty blonde.
As my daughter walked by, she gave me a thumbs up and a killer grin that will one day knock unsuspecting young men to their knees and make them weep.
As she strode into the waves, there was no backward glance. She only looked ahead, choosing which wave she would joyously take for a ride, thinking only of now and what's yet to come.
Not thinking of then, and what has gone by.
If she had looked back, she would only see her Mom, smiling at her, always at her back, cheering her on to her next great adventure.
But for me, for a moment...in that backward glance...
...I caught a glimpse of myself at 13.