When Quinton first found The Girl she was in a pile of stuffed animals at a rummage sale stacked on shelves taller than I am.
From all the bears, doggies, and other critters, Q pulled out a mermaid with pink yarn hair and in a purple bikini.
At first, I my heart squeezed for him. That old stuff about what boys can have and what they can’t is still alive and real around me even though I try not to play that game myself.
Then I relaxed as I saw him cling to her every time I left him for the night in his bed and during the day when I went to work. Clearly he needed her.
My sister and husband pointed out that she was a replacement for me. And, deep down, I always longed to be a mermaid. In fact, I spent hours at the lake where I grew up pretending to be a woman with scales who could set up house under water.
When we cleaned out Quinton’s room this month, I asked him if any of the stuffed animals could go. He immediately pulled her out of the pile and handed her over.
My heart broke a little for The Girl. (I never was good at letting go of stuffed toys.)
Maybe at 5 years old he has bought all those messages about what boys can and can’t have. Maybe he has tough memories of learning how to sleep by himself and staying at daycare.
But I am grateful to The Girl, so now she sits with me as lumbar support in my chair as I write each morning.
And sometimes our newest girl cuddles up next to her. In a way, it’s like Sissy and I are taking care of a good and faithful servant. The Girl saw a lot of tears. She deserves a nice retirement.
Besides. In a house full of human boys, we girls need to stick together.
Other Wonders of the Week
During injections practice (mannequins only for now), a student pointed out how beautiful the sharps box looked with all its color and variety. It reminded me of the shot of my knitting needles I took a short while back. Funny how sweaters and shots have a connection through needles.
Ash is the boldest cat I have ever met. He stood on the ladder with me for our entire paint-the-livingroom-wall project, moving to the paint tray when I needed the top rungs. Helping, he said. I am helping.
And for my last wonder, I admired the flowers one of the tutors had made, and the coordinator gave them to me yesterday!
May you find surprise flowers, great helpers and maybe even a mermaid or two.
A recycled bit on the wonder series:
As a part of my 2016 blog revision, I started a new small weekly post I call ‘Wednesday Wonders.’
One of my favorite things about writing and other art forms is the way they open my eyes to the surprises around me in my everyday life. Many of these wonders will also be in my Instagram account since I discovered the joy of that program during an advent photo project.
I collect these surprises like little rocks in a kid’s pocket. I may use them in a story. I may not. Either way, life gets a little brighter when I take the time to notice.