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  • These kids of mine. I can count the nights I will spend with them this year on my fingers and toes. The times I will fly across the continent of the United States that I can really only understand from a overhead schematic map of places. I've gone by land across it several times. The distance is great enough it stops being geography and becomes really of matter of chronography.

    They gave me courage. My courage. Their existence and their emerging personalities.

    This photo was taken at one of our favorite parks in Sarasota, one that we used to go to on saturday mornings when I still lived in the same city and state as they do. It is Sarasota Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, that they are walking down to, that I am watching them walk down to. They will in a minute watch the pelicans move off in two or three beats of their broad wings, and they will turn to me, each in a different way.

    Willa, my daughter, newly a kindergartener, will turn with her face full of interest, wondering perhaps if what she felt was interesting was actually interesting and checking by the expression on my face to determine it.

    Jude, still a pre-schooler, has seen pelicans before, raised as he has been on Florida's Gulf Coast, but turns with a melding of wonder and delight pouring through his face. Perhaps more than he cares to feel alone, wanting to experience it with someone else, with me.

    Despite what may very well prove to be obstacles to connection and communication (distance, time, money, fragmented spans of being in the same place), I am blessed for the clear and strong connections I feel with each of them.
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