I love this picture of Zeca. It was taken last summer while we were on a sailboat anchored off the coast of Cascais. I love the pale blue sky. I love the way her hair is blowing in the wind and the way her white shirt stands out against the deep blue of the water. I love her smile. This picture doesn't tell you that she was scared when we pulled out of the marina and into the channel. It doesn't tell you that I held her tightly on the bow of the boat, rocking her to the rhythm of the waves, hoping to allay her fears. It doesn't tell you that her fear drove her below deck. This picture was taken after all that.
I love this picture for the story it doesn't tell, the story of fear and the many ways we learn to face it. I love it for the story of a little girl who is afraid and a mother who wants her to be fearless yet the two are not at odds. This picture reminds me that there are no clear answers, only love and good intentions.
Sometimes, I say to Zeca, "You know what?" and she immediately responds, "You love me." It's a game and her answer always comes without hesitation. Last night, I asked and she answered and added, "You're silly, mama. I always know you love me."
I hope she never forgets that.