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Paddling with My Sweetheart
Such a glorious day! The sun was shining, the sand was hot, and the water inviting.
Oh what fun to take our shoes and socks off, roll up our trousers or knicker-pin our skirts, and go paddling at the seaside. How we laughed as the sand oozed between our toes, and squealed when the cold water hit our skin, just like a couple of kids.
On really hot days, we’d just stand there up to our ankles eating ice cream cones which melted quicker than we could lick them.
George rubbed his eyes and hoped no-one noticed the tears fall.
Esme had been gone two years now, but still they came here to the beach, part of their caravan holiday, two weeks of the family together.
Except they weren’t all together now. Esme wasn’t there to keep them in line, smooth in the sunscreen or bathe the missed spots that had burnt with calamine.
How he missed her, the way she made sure he had his sunglasses and sunhat, keeping him to the shade so that he didn’t get too hot or uncomfortable.
Karen fussed over him, but she wasn’t her mother.
‘I know Dad,’ she said softly, adjusting the parasol. ‘We miss her too.’
George smiled sadly, raising her hand to his lips.
‘Shall we all go paddling?’ he said.