*the stairs at the Polynesian Village resort’s pool
*body surfing in the Atlantic
*the grittiness of sand on my skin
*eating cotton candy at the circus while watching trapeze artists
*my first communions; grandma ironing my veil
*my baby sister’s birth, a windy October day
*sitting by the fish tanks at the local Polynesian supper club
*my first two piece bathing suit—navy and white stripes, with Looney Tunes characters on the top. Very, very modest.
*My dad’s reaction to said bathing suit: “You’re not going out in that!”
*Standing on the edge of a diving board, studying the deep blue of the diving well.
*Losing my firs tooth at Walt Disney World, in a Mickey waffle.
*waking up with my cousin’s black cat on my chest, eyes wide and suspiciously studying me.
*Driving across the Mississippi River in a minivan, the water turgid and brown.
*Picking corn from a friend’s field.
*An emerald green dress embedded with tiny sparkles.
*Watching a hurricane arrive in Delaware, frantic wind and rain
*Introducing a baby to the wide Gulf of Mexico, the warm bath water and sand under her tiny toes.
*The crisp feel of the air in a hockey arena, and the sound of blades against ice.
*Learning to slide on the softball field, the white of my pants covered with reddish dirt.
*Coming home from a hot day of working at the pool and having a cool, brilliant diamond placed on my finger, and a question asked.
*My first time on stage, the lights blinding and the applause riveting.
*A boy leaning over and kissing my hand.
*Riding the merry go round at Kennywood in the summer dusk, my hand on the back of my toddler godson’s back. (He didn’t look very sure about this)
*Shooting baskets with the boys in my class at recess in middle school.
*My plaid jumper and peter pan collared uniform blouses, hung neatly in my closet.
*Yarn tying my braids neatly
*Shucking corn with my cousins on the back deck for a summer barbecue.