I laugh when I see it up close, this picture snapped quickly from the banks of the Guadalupe.
Your brother and friend, cautious waders both, are still gingerly stepping over pebbles.
But you are already coming up for air — wet hair shellacked against your face as you surface, well into your adventure while they still test the waters.
You hurl yourself into the stream with abandon, examine globs of frog eggs, chase minnows, climb cliffs.
And watching, I regret the 30 years that separate us.
I think, at 11, we would have been great friends: back when I was the cliff-climbing, rock-skipping explorer of tadpoles and tide pools, not the bag-carrying, book-reading packer of snacks and sunscreen.
Middle school lies in wait just 23 days away. And I want to tell you, as it comes rushing with all its treacherous rapids, to wade in carefully. Watch your steps, take your time, guard your heart that you offer so readily.
But as I watch you throw yourself over and over again into the current of the Guadalupe River, I resolve to shout no such warnings from the bank.
To tell you instead, you are strong and brave enough to rush in.