Monday, August 1, 2011

Mistaken Identity

Today I was jogging the path to Hidden Beach when I saw a man young enough to be my son coming toward me.  He was walking very slowly with a toddler I presumed to be his daughter.  She was adorable, about fourteen or fifteen months old, with a fluffy cloud of hair so pale that God must not have decided what color it should be yet but was leaning toward red.  She was wearing camouflage pants and a blue sweater. 

As I got close, she pointed at me and said, very seriously, “Mommy!”

Her father looked embarrassed.  “That’s not Mommy.  Mommy is back at the house with Auntie.  We’re going back to the house to see Mommy.  Let’s go.  Come on,” he babbled.  It was funny, that he was the babbler.

I know that the little girl didn’t think I was her mommy.  Maybe she just knew, in that inexplicable, baby way, that I was a female in the same way Mommy was.  Or maybe Mommy jogs.  Who knows.

But I feel happy.  It’s as though she saw an invisible badge on my chest.  Or a tattoo that will never fade away.

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