“Hi Hayden! I’m in California!”
“Oh! That’s great!”
“Yes… where are you?”
“In the car. With my Dad. We were going to go to the movies, but he said I would have to pee so many times it probably wouldn’t make it worth it. He is probably right. So we are going to get ice cream!”
“I hope you get peppermint…”
“What?! What did you say?”
“That’s gross. I’m going to get vanilla. Maybe strawberry.”
“Oh. I’m in California! With my uncle Alex. We went on slides…his house smelled funny when we got here. He bought me bacon! And bubble bath! The hills make my tummy tickle!”
“When a tree falls, light floods into the open gap. Many plants and seeds take advantage of the windfall and quickly grow.” – California Academy of Sciences
Even a great childhood is challenging because it requires growing and learning amongst varying obstacles. The most prominent for Rory is her brothers. They help refine her and define her simply by growing next to her in the same house. But I see how beneficial it is to take her out of her usual environment, away from her brothers, and when those gaps are there she soars. Being in California is evidence of this.
The dust was piling all around us, big, thick, plumes of it. The hooves of the pack of horses ever increasing in speed as each sharp turn followed another and another and another. The beautiful California hills were vast, but no match for our team and driver. Rory squealed with delight as the speed of our determined stagecoach, rickety and racketing over the well-worn path, tickled her tummy from one peak to the next. Faster and faster we went, passing tattoo parlors and burrito hubs, painted houses of the Victorian era, and plants of varying sizes resembling sea creatures akin to octopus and squid.
I have this amazing, bubbly, spicy, and rambunctious friend. I met her five years ago. From the beginning she was energetic, even her bones couldn’t contain the verve. She dances, wiggles, and giggles from one room to the next. For a shy gal like myself I often watch her and try my best to slowly take it all in. Glitter and pink, fluff and vibrant, colors are ever following in her wake.
My back was to the window. I saw the reflection in my computer screen as a car rolled past my house. The car was the same make and model as my brother’s in California. Lost in a day dream that he might have come for a surprise visit (unlikely, but a fun thought), I didn’t realize the car had pulled into my driveway and soon the doorbell rang. Answering the chime, I opened the door: