Photo: from left-to-right, Miles, Liz, and Ella Kirkwood
Haiku to My Children
By Liz Kirkwood, FLOW Executive Director
Toe. Dip. Jump. Splash. Smile.
Brave you are. I am in awe.
Water unites us.
My daughter filling the kettle to make my scratchy throat a cup of tea, my son topping off my water bottle along with his before we set out on a hike: Small gestures that signal I have successfully trained my children to pamper me, not just on Mother’s Day, but every day.
In their 20s now, they carry with them memories of an early childhood backyard on a canal of Lac Ste. Claire; grade school years traveling from a home on an inland lake in Grand Traverse County to a K-8 school with shoreline on Grand Traverse Bay and Leelanau County’s Cedar Lake; high school defined by the campus between Green Lake and Duck Lake.
They—we—remember the years when we made a habit of visiting Lake Michigan on each family birthday—deep winter, early spring, late summer. We relish memories of the summer we swam in all five Great Lakes, camping our way out to the Gaspé and back. We keep sight of the time a rip current left us badly shaken south of Elberta, the same day it took lives in Leland.
My children have become paddlers, sailors, a lifeguard.
The next time we are walking the beach together, though—whenever that becomes possible—I will still be the first to spy a Petoskey stone; I always am.