The Perfect Exclamation Point

For a brief second, I see Jenn do a handstand at Kellogg Park where we’ve gone for the morning, ocean in view. Cayde’s agreed to do yoga with his mom at 9:30, the park (not to mention the parking lot) already full and populated with ruddy-faced morning-divers, their wetsuits peeled to the waist and eyes ringed with red lines, their masks having sealed correctly. The true surfers are already leaving and day-campers are setting up the hibachis and volleyball nets. I’m pushing Finn around in the stroller, up through the lawn-spaces, on the right-hand side of the coastline. The boardwalk is all young bodies and today is the day Jenn turns the age I still feel because I only turned the calendar page a month ago.
But Jenn is always younger. On the way to the jungle gym, I see Jenn and Cayde do ‘downward dog’ in tandem, on parallel mats. Cayde bounces some on his heels because there’s no way a boisterous seven-year old knows anything about chakras or breathing space. He resembles a pose whereas Jenn has her palms flat and her knees locked, textbook.
Finn climbs the playground ladders on his own and slides down, laughing. We swing, and have this game where I push him, then tickle him on the ascent and he throws out his arms and throws his head back smiling.
We circle around with the stroller, playground sand in our shoes, and park in the shade to watch the yoga group finish their poses. Jenn is upside down, and the instructor has her fingertips barely touching Jenn’s calves, steadying her; Jenn is upside-down with her hair touching the grass and with arms rigid in a handstand, a perfect exclamation point. Cayde is trying to do the same, tossing his legs akimbo over his head and looking all of seven, toppling ass over kettle more often than not.
It gets to the Shivasna portion of things and Cayden and Jenn hold hands, Cayde wanting to just get to that part where everyone says ‘Namaste’, which you do, appropriately, in virisana pose, virisana appropriately meaning ‘hero chief.’


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