And then all of a sudden you look at them

January 18, 2024

by Hagar Harpak

It’s ridiculous. And then all of a sudden you look at them on the bike path ahead of you. If you look back you won’t be able to see the tears you’ve shed over the loss of self, because the tears that run down your face when you look forward water a much more infinitely vast ocean. The ocean of evaporated childhood. They ride their bike, you’re rollerblading behind them. Smell of weed in the air. Is it your past self or someone in the parking lot? You used to rollerblade from Venice Beach to the end of Will Rogers and back. At least once a week. High. Young. And it was all ahead of you still. The wind blows in your hair now as it did back then. And your 11 year old daughter looks like a 22 version of you. They ride. And you laugh together. And time slithers in the sand, in and out of vision. Sunlight sparkles on the waters and it never fails to amaze you. One kid complains that the wind is too strong. And the ridiculousness of motherhood blows in your hair. And you live it. And you realize that you are mourning all the time. Grief is your friend. And gratitude holds your hand. And you ride with your kids on a winter day in Santa Monica on the bike path. And it’s simple and complex and alive.

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