The past few days I've been feeling very nostaglic, as my sweet goddaughter speaks more and more. At fifteen months, I feel she is way too little to be babbling the way she does. I still see her as the newborn I held in my arms, fifteen months ago. Little by little, she is going to share the memories I had. Running up and down the beach with her older brothers, watching the fireworks over the harbour, endless games of cricket. One day, she is going to be in the same position I am, growing up too fast and wishing her childhood back.
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Every day, there was a memory.
Travelling on the roads between her house and the boarding house, his hand in hers, trying to make it home before curfew.
The Purple Iguana where she used to work, scraping in the spare cash she wanted for her surfing career, spending every birthday dinner there until she was seventeen.
The ocean pool where she used to take lessons, meeting some of her best friends, who she still kept in contact with to that day.
The park where she sat and cried, the day he broke up with her.
The big boarding house where she spent her sixteenth year, and many years that followed.
Smelling the summer air and the salt from the sea.
Lying on the sand, wearing nothing but bikinis, soaking up the Australian summer sun.
The milk bar that made the best bacon and egg rolls they had ever eaten, the perfect late breakfast for early morning surfers.
Restaurants where she went on dates (and not just with him).
The smack of freedom and her childhood, all at once.
Little by little, her children were claiming her memories.
Visiting the restaurants.
Recognising the streets.
Birthday dinners at the Purple Iguana.
Running on the sand that used to have her footsteps, crisscrossed with others.
She found it hard to believe, because it used to be just her. Just Bec Sanderson, ruling the land of Blue Water. The memories were hers.
But now they were hers to share with Dean Edgely.
And little Emma and Lachlan, too.
It was strange, in a sense, because they were hers. Back when she was just a child, and Blue Water was her haven.
Back when she was a singular 'me' and not a plurified 'us'.
But they were 'us' and she loved passing down her childhood memories to her children.
Blue Water had been her home.
And now it was their home, too.