Friday, July 24, 2009

Peacocks and Pigtails

Now that I am finished with my website, I can get back to writing and spending more time with my girls!

Tuesday night, I was thinking I wanted to do something fun with Lorelei on Wednesday morning: Lorelei-and-Mama time while Semeli was at school. Wednesday evening my students would be turning in their research papers, and I have a short turn-around time, so Wednesday was the day. Lorelei, being the perceptive one, said early Wednesday morning, "Hey, Mama, let's go to the Arboretum!"


Off we went, Lorelei in the lead and me in tow.

Per her request, I put her short brown hair in pigtails, and she wore this beautiful Hawaiian dress - orange with black and yellow - that our neighbors Ami and Sean gave to her for her birthday two years ago. Within the past year, she went to the Arboretum with her Girl Scout troupe, so she knew it better than me, as I hadn't been there since I was a reporter about 20 years ago. So, she lead the way, pigtails bobbing along the way.

We had a map and consulted it now and then, and once she knew where she wanted to go, she instinctively walked ahead, leading me. Keeping a brisk pace, we chatted about the cool trees and interesting flowers, and then we hung out by the lake for a bit. Well, it's called a lake, but it's about as big as a pond - and certainly not as big as Walden Pond, which really should be called Walden Lake, if you ask me. But, I digress. Walking behind my girl, I watched her. She looked around, commented on things, and clearly enjoyed being where we were and confidently navigated us through that huge place. I loved being there with her. I was happy.

Wild peacocks roam the Arboretum: Their cries echo throughout, and their exquisite colors
supplement the already beautiful landscape. They clearly have assimilated to having humans around, as they don't move away from us; in fact, they come closer to check us out! When one came close, Lorelei moved over to me.

"What's he gonna do, Lorelei?" I asked.
"He may peck me," she said.
"Oh, that won't hurt much," I reassured her.

It's awesome to see my eight-year-old innately taking the lead. It reassures me she will do well in this competitive world of ours. However, it's also nice to know she still needs me, or thinks she needs me, for protection, for comfort, for reassurance.

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