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Blog

Voices Carry

Danielle Brown

voices-carry

Can you hear change?

Gigi learned how to swim at a young age. I guess you could say that there was not much choice in the matter when you are born into a family of fish.

I still put her at my hip in the ocean. In the water she is once more as light as a toddler. I can remember the heft of Gigi, age two. One arm could lift and swing her lithe body to my hip while carrying groceries, a wallet and phone with the other. Gigi would carry the keys, jingling them in a revised function of play. With her other hand, she would sometimes pat my back, mimicking how I would pat to soothe her before bed. Gigi was and always will be the baby of our family.

I hold her in the ocean to help keep her head over water when the waves are rough. She is tough but sensible. Messy hair styles, dirty knees and missing her mouth with globs of pizza sauce are her thing, a giant wave tousling is not. She giggles and pats my back in return. (It's still something that we do.) Gigi is six now and wants to be called a "big girl" or if I catch her when she is real tired, I can call her my "big girl baby."

Her voice tells a different story. It scampers towards the door through babyhood. While the thoughts are loud and full of possibility, the sound is still willowy and coated with gerber. She lingers on the letter L.

"Is it possible to fly if you really believe, mamma". Long pause. Insert eye roll. Not the sarcastic, embarrassed type. The I'm getting the hang of mirroring body expression with intended voice inflections. Like did you see me shake my hips when I suggested ice cream?

Just like her brother, Gigi's first stop at the beach today is the ocean. She sings into the air and fights salty breeze to stand tall. Opening and closing her fists she signals that she is ready. Little does she know how far I've seen her come.

It feels like a steamroller sometimes. Time churning without pause. I hold the luster of these still memories with my girl, beneath the dust of an incessant engine roar.

A bell heralds in today's voice letter L.