Violet was a dyed-in-the-wool Alaskan girl. She was born in mid-April, and it snowed on the way home from the hospital.
She traipsed in furry boots and ski coats and toques. She threw her first snowball before she was 2, she has hiked the Chugach Mountains and petted Iditarod sled dogs. She seemed impervious to cold, lamenting a jacket if the weather was above 60.
I wondered how she would do in the sweltering heat of Florida.
But as I look at her in jean cut-offs and a tank top, ridiculously golden brown, I think I had nothing to worry about.
She refuses shoes unless absolutely necessary; when she does wear them, they are flip-flops, in which she can run like the wind. She smells of sunscreen and sand and little girl sweat, of playgrounds and beaches and sunny, happy days.
She initially shied away from the ocean, but now wishes with all her heart to be a mermaid. She and her father will spend hours wading and floating; he is so patient with her as he gently teaches her to swim in the lovely Gulf. She digs holes for crabs and builds sand castles and fills up her watering can and waters the beach. She searches for stones and shells and whatever treasures the ocean brings her.
If allowed, she would spend every day, all day frolicking along the sugar beaches of this place.
My girl, she is a beach bum.
Violet, sunny self portrait