My Little Water Sprite

Dear Caroline,

It was at the Silver Point Beach Club in Long Beach, Long Island, that it happened, probably around 1997, when you were still only eight or nine years old.

We’d gone to the pool there, walking along the rickety wooden planks, past the cabanas, for a little swim on a brilliantly sunny weekend morning. As I recall, you loved the pool – loved splashing around, loved swimming, just loved the cool, clean water.

Going in the pool was something we could do together. And so in we went. You liked to ride on my back, your arms wrapped around my neck, as I plunged underwater like a submarine.

“Do it again,” you would say, and I would do it again.

We tried all kinds of stunts in the water — racing, doing handstands, swimming between each other’s legs. You seemed pretty much game for any experiment.

After a while on this day, we were having so much fun we felt exhilirated. And you swam into my arms. And I held you close to me, my arms around your back, your face right in front of mine. You were smiling a big smile, your face gleaming with water from the pool, gleaming in the brilliant sun, looking so happy, so perfectly happy.

It was a sublime moment, my favorite moment in my whole life.

Oh, I’ve had wonderful moments.

Hitting a home run over the right fielder when I was about 12 as a girl I wanted to impress watched.

The first time I kissed a girl.

Getting hired for my first job out of college on a weekly newspaper called The Eastside Courier.

Marrying Mom.

Seeing Michael born.

Being published in The New York Times at the age of 26.

I’ve had so many wonderful moments in my 58 years, too many to recount here, so many, of course, related to Mom and Michael and you. But that moment with you in my arms in the pool at the beach club took the cake. Seeing you so happy that day made me happier than I could ever imagine.

It really was a glimpse of the divine.

All I can do now is wish you many more such moments in the sun.

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