Kate watched him as he ran along the sun-drenched pier, his little arms waving exuberantly and his blond curls bouncing with every step. Every few metres he would look back over his shoulder and she would catch a glimpse of his dancing eyes and wind-rouged cheeks; his mouth opened wide in an ecstatic laugh.
His voice carried back to her, “Look at me, Mummy, look! Look!” Of course, Kate looked. He was so jubilant, filled with the thrill of this bright, spring morning with its sea air, sunshine and promise of adventure. It made her heart leap to watch him. She imagined the tableau they would make together on this sweep of weathered boards with the glittering ocean as its backdrop. It must be a beautiful one.
Then, as she watched, a young woman ran past her and towards the boy, sweeping him up into her arms and spinning him around. The boy shrieked with laughter and grabbed at her face with his chubby hands. Smiling, the woman kissed him and set him back down. As he ran off laughing, his cries of “Catch me, Mummy!” reached Kate as she watched the two of them racing away from her.