This is me, about a month away from giving birth to Sophie, nearly eighteen years ago. It was late February, and The Husband and I lived in a tiny apartment on the upper west side of Manhattan. I suddenly and quite emphatically wanted to go to the beach, so we packed a lunch and caught a train out to Coney Island. I felt ridiculously happy. When I look at this photo, I don't see the future other than how important the beach would become in Sophie's life. She, not yet Sophie, and I appear to be casting a long shadow. Is there a metaphor in that? I can look at these photos of me, peer at them intensely and know nothing. All is inscrutable. I think I sort of mourn that young woman standing in the cold sand with a plastic bag, lace-up oxfords and black stirrup pants.