I can still feel the cold pluff mud between my toes. The smell of saltwater in the air. The sound of the seagulls flying overhead. The warmth of the sun on my face.
Pure happiness. Not a single care in the world. This was me at 11 years old.
And when I think of myself, my actual, real-life self, I think of this 11-year-old girl.
I was raised in Charleston for most of my life. It’s all I know.
I grew up in a beautiful house on James Island with a pool in my backyard and a dock that led straight to the marsh. My brother had a small Jon boat that we would ride through the marsh in. These are the best memories I have of us as siblings.
I remember sitting on our dock at night and looking up at the stars. Seeing the full moon in all of her glory. Listening to the cicadas chirp.
Summer would come, and we would spend hours in the pool. My friends and I would make synchronized swimming routines, and my cousins would come to town for weeks at a time.
I have loved growing up in Charleston. And I’m so happy to be able to raise my boys here now.
Sometimes, when I’m driving over the James Island connector, I look at this beautiful city that we live in and think to myself, “Wow. We are so lucky to live here.”
The way the marsh gently winds and curves, disappearing as the king tides rise. The glimpses of dolphins in the harbor as they play. The elegant cranes perched gently in the mud.
My heart beats for Charleston.
The warmth that she gives us during the summer is comforting to me. Those summer vibes that we start to feel when the temperature warms up. The idea that, soon, we will all be at the beach or in the pool, because that’s just about the only thing you can do in Charleston in the summer. Be near the water.
I hope that my boys will one day grow up and know this feeling and love that I have for Charleston.
I take them to Charlestowne Landing because I remember visiting this site when I was young. I love teaching them about the history of Charleston and the native wildlife.
We walk around downtown, along the Battery and White Point Gardens to show them the beauty that Charleston holds.
The carriage tours in downtown Charleston fill their minds with knowledge and facts about this amazing city.
All of these things I remember doing as a little girl. I am so honored to be able to show my boys these same things and teach them about the city we call home.
So, I think back to that 11-year-old girl in the mud. I put myself in my sons’ shoes because I, too, was there once.
I saw Charleston from the eyes of a young child, and I fell in love.