Posted in Comedy, Tragedy and What the F...?

I Am A Little Fish

It’s not so much of a memory as it is a sensation that rises again and again in the summer months. A little girl lies on a towel on the warm concrete, resting for a moment in the sun. She has been in the water for what seems like hours, holding her breath and crawling under the shimmering blue from one sibling to the other; being thrown into the air by her brother and making a huge splash; floating on her back. She is a little fish, and she belongs here.

The water is cool in hot desert sun, and she loves the sun, loves how it feels on her skin. This is her world; A mother and father who sit in lounge chairs and occasionally come into the water to play; a brother and a sister who will stay with her in the water all day; Sandwiches that the mother has packed in a cooler; Cold drinks from a concession stand. It is a family day and everyone is happy.

It does not matter that this world broke apart in divorce and moves to other states; dissolved itself into the mess that is part of adulthood and failures of the heart. What matters is that each summer it comes back—the sensation of the sun and the water, the excitement about going to the pool and swimming back and forth in the lanes for adults. Do they know that when I am in this pool I am not an adult? I am that little girl again, alive in the sensations of summer, the feelings of security and happiness brought on by sun and water.

A bag is packed with towels and iced water, a kindle to read in the lounge chair. All around me are the happy sounds of children playing in the water, laughing and squealing; the sounds of parents who get into the water and play. These summer afternoons retrieve something precious from a long time ago and thrust it forward into a present that allows me to be my purest, most real self–at play in the world, filled with joy, and delighting in kisses from the summer sun.


Novelist, essayist, blogger, wife, dog-mommy, dancer, dreamer, grateful.

9 thoughts on “I Am A Little Fish

  1. Ah childhood memories! I remember playing “Marco Polo”, pretending to be a mermaid, swimming between friend’s legs, and the huge sense of accomplishment that would come from finally being able to touch the bottom of the deep end. Long before sunscreen or awareness of UVA/UVB. Just carefree fun. In the warm summer sun. Thanks for sharing your imagery! It was fun to visit that long-lost memory of my own!!!

  2. Great post, Stephanie. As someone who grew up loving the water and sun, I could totally relate to much of what you wrote about, although I didn’t have a brother to toss me about…but I did have an older sister who loved to spend time in the water as much as I did. Thanks for helping bring alive those memories once again and the pure pleasure of surf, sand, pool, hose,… whatever provided the water element…and sun. And thanks for liking my recent post. I always appreciate when someone takes the time to register their “approval.” 🙂

  3. Loved the imagery. I actually felt warm as I read this!!! Thanks for stopping by and reading my driblings as well. Abraços from Brazil

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