Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tuesday Afternoons

It's the middle of the day.
The streets are empty and the neighbour's sprinklers are on. Eight doors down the 11 year old Golden Retriever barks incessantly at a squirrel sitting on his wall.

She's standing in the driveway, fiddling with her car keys. Inside, she hears the refrigerator door being opened and shut, and the sound of a wooden step stool being dragged painfully across the kitchen floor. Her blackberry gives a short, sharp ring and she looks down at the calendar reminder.
"Tomorrow: Office- Meeting. 3-5pm." It says.
She dismisses the alert and glances at the keys in her hand.

Turning, she picks up the small pink backpack from the doorstep. She pushes open the front door and leaves the backpack just inside.
"C'mon kitten," she yells, "finish your juice. Car ride."
And they both clamber in and buckle up, even though they'd just gotten home ten minutes ago.

It's quiet, when the car pulls into the graveled carpark.
"Mommy," the little girl says, passing her the ringing cellphone. She takes the phone, switches it off, and chucks it into the backseat.
"How bout just you and me today hon?"

It's just about four now. She's got the little one in her arms as they walk through the place, right to the other end. It's a large space with a white fence. The sand inside is soft and has tiny bits of colour mixed into it. There are a few lessons going on within the space.

They stand on the outside, their eyes scanning.
"There!" The little one yells, before clapping both her tiny hands over her mouth, giggling.
"Whoops, no yelling." She whispers loudly. She points to the far corner where a young boy is precariously balanced on a dun pony, taking instructions from someone in a cap and shades.
"I win." "This time, anyway." She replies, kissing the little girl's forehead.
"I picked out that cap for her you know, " she says, looking up, her arms around the other's neck.
"Did you?"
"Yep, it says 'Love all' on the back, you know, where the strap is."

And they stand there, in comfortable silence, watching the one in the cap and shades,
who's gotten both their hearts.

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