From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

September 5

Afew weeks before Anny was to leave for college, I took the four girls to the beach. The sun was high and hot as we unloaded our gear and slathered on sunscreen. The three older girls went down to the water’s edge to look for shells and get their toes wet. Elli settled down next to me with a shovel and pail, but after a few minutes, she asked if she could go down to the water with her sisters.

To my surprise, the older girls agreed to watch Elli and let her gather some shells. I watched them walk down the beach, the two older ones in front, Kayla next, Elli trailing behind. Every so often, one of them would call to the others, bend down, pick up some found treasure and put it in Elli’s pail. But I noticed that Elli was not looking for shells. She was watching her sisters and seemed to be hopping from side to side, following directly behind them. Sometimes the older three walked side by side, but Elli always stayed behind.

It took me a few minutes, but then I realized what she was doing. Elli was walking in her sisters’ footprints.

Marsha Arons

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