Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)
TITLE: Mind Photos
By Marsha Landers
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This morning began as a celebration for Aunt Susie’s 82nd birthday. The annual trip to her favorite pizza buffet was tremendous after so many hospitalizations this year. The gold sandals were an added bonus. Aunt Sue always loved gold sandals. If she couldn’t find any she would just spray paint a pair gold! I was fortunate that the spray paint could stay at the store this time!
Among the guests were five year old Lindsay, nine year old Allie, and three week old Audrey who slept through her very first party. Allie was excited about leaving for Girl Scout camp, her first trip away on her own. I hoped she wouldn’t see any frogs. Frogs are terrifying monsters in her book.
Lindsay sat quietly in her dad’s lap. She hadn’t been her buoyant self today. After a while, she slide off his lap and climbed onto mine, and whispered something about needing to ride with me so we could go replace her blue bathing suit with butterflies from last year for one that fits. I try to make her understand that we probably can’t find another one. Surprisingly, there was a pink one with butterflies with a bonus skirt. She was happy. Lindsay has a thing for skirts.
Never one to waste an opportunity, Lindsay grabbed a dress, a short set, and a tee-shirt that sported a free doll. I wondered if I bought a doll and got a free shirt. The dress was black and pink polka dots on white. I didn’t like it. At least not until it was transformed by an angelic girl who was going to design clothes, be a model, and a makeup artist when she grew up. After I told her I loved it, she didn’t want it anymore. She said she had enough polka dot dresses. I chose a lime green bikini for Allie and mentally planned a shopping trip with her when she returned from camp. As a mother of sons, I actually looked forward to it.
Their dad and Allie were at our house for a quick swim before going to pack. Allie and dad left after one last game of “Margo Polo”. (I hoped it wasn’t a feminist thing, but Lindsay’s special way of pronouncing “Marco”.) Lindsay chose to stay for some Grandma and Pops time.
“Let’s do that again, Grandma,” she said. “I need to show Pops.” She had just learned to swim underwater and she swam from shallow to deep as I swam at her side. For a precious moment in time she became Allie at the same age. We were back swimming at our old house at six in the morning while still dark. Allie had spent the night and knowing how much she loved to swim, I gently woke her with a whisper in her ear. Though not a morning person, she eagerly jumped out of bed. With the pool light on, I saw those frog legs swimming side by side with me as we swam from shallow to deep, her eyes grinning and her hand waving. I took a “mind photo”, thankful of special times. As Lindsay broke to the surface, her eyes were wild with delight. I left that sweet memory of my Allie girl and came back to the present to be with Lindsay. “Let’s do it again, Grandma,” she said.
After playing dolls, walking to our “secret spot” which isn’t a secret anymore, and eating, Lindsay requested that I sleep with her. I couldn’t refuse. That offer doesn’t come often. Pops had sleep with the dog.
We climbed into bed and watched a movie about horses; one she wanted to replace with cartoons, but I am not a cartoon person. That job was reserved for Pops. She looked over and said it was a good movie, though a little sad, and begged me not to let the heroine sell her horse. The movie ended. She’s still wanted cartoons and I wanted sleep. We both got our wish. As she laid her head on my shoulder I thought, “Tomorrow this day will be a fine memory.” The “mind photo” snapped away.
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