Parker disappeared from the family gathering in the living room. “Parker,” I hollered only to catch her out of the corner of my eye pulling herself up on the bar stool in the kitchen to reach the contents on the counter. She had been eyeing the tray of cookies and now with everyone distracted, her two year old independence was about to be rewarded.
I made it to her just in time to pull the tray out of her reach, though, since she gave it such a good effort I let her pick one out. She immediately choose a peanut butter blossom – the kind with a Hersey kiss in the middle. Parker goes for the chocolate first and eats the cookie second. After her treat we resumed activity with everyone else in the living room: playing with cousins, checking out new toys and clearing the debris of wrapping paper and boxes.
Later I was called back into the kitchen by my brother and my mom. Parker also joined and again pulled herself up on the bar stool to position herself next to her big cousins. They pointed out how 3 cookies were missing bites out of the top of the chocolate kiss and all knew who was likely responsible, my little cookie monster.
Parker reached for a sugar cookie and got one off the tray before Nana could intervene. “You need to ask mommy first Parker,” She told her in a loving Nana way. Parker looked right at me with her big brown eyes maybe thinking of asking permission.
Instead she said “Thank you Mommy.” And took a big bite of her cookie.
Trying to eliminate unnecessary clutter, I began sorting through an old box of letters. I believe I have unnecessarily saved every letter, folded school note, and card I apparently ever received, thus creating plenty of unnecessary clutter. Going through old mail is like a time capsule of my life and while I can purge a lot of junk, some of these treasures I just can’t let go. At least if I clutter some internet space with it, I might be able to let go of the paper.
This card I got from my brother while I was away at Girl Scout Camp. It was a thrilling feeling to hear my name called to get mail, even if I was only away a few days. And in his most careful cursive (probably the best handwriting I have seen from him – even 20 years later) he wrote a sincere brotherly note. Girl Scout Camp was full of songs, hiking back and forth across camp grounds and giggling with new friends.
I remember feeling like tiny frogs blanketed the grass outside of our cabins. If they had been crickets I might have run screaming between the cabin and the bathroom across the grassy knoll. Since they were amphibian creatures, and babies at that, I carefully took every step to make sure they got to hop to safety before my monstrous 9-year-old foot reached the earth. Not only was the frog population so high, I can’t forget about the sheer numbers of fish in the lake either.
For each day at the camp, our group would have a rotation at the lake for swimming. On the first day it was required to swim from one dock to the other for the lifeguards to judge what level swimmer we were and how far we would be allowed to swim in the lake. I was overly confident about my swimming abilities as I jumped in for my test. Immediately I began feeling not alone in the water, one object brushing against my leg, then another and then my arm. With every kick and paddle through the water I was feeling fish also trying to occupy that space. My easy aquatic technique quickly turned to floundering to stay afloat, slowly making my way to the other dock disgusted by the lake and its fearless inhabitants. Despite my uneasy approach they gave me permission to swim to a certain distance in the water to which I said “No thanks.” And stayed on the beach.