Checkered Past

I rose early this morning.  My daughter had asked me  to edit an English assignment, a story about a defining time in her life.  This is the daughter through whom I’m convinced I will live vicariously.  I sometimes fantasize that she will be the Rose Wilder to my Laura Ingalls, that when she is living the exciting life of a writer in Dublin or Portland or Tempe, she will coax her aging mother into writing about the good old days – the days on Dorchester or Gilesford or the painted desert, the days of cow print pants and checkered comforters.

She hated those pants, but she mentioned the checkered comforters in the story that put a lump in my throat.  I didn’t realize until then how attached to those comforters she and her sister had grown – like babies with their favorite blankies.  I remember the day we picked them out, the trip to the Town Center – back when it still had the ice skating rink where Tonya had infamously practiced her Olympic routines.  (“Yes, sir.  I’m sure.  I am NOT related to her!”) Shortly after our move to Gilesford Street, I had trekked there, a vision from a Southern Living magazine dancing in my head, my two little girls dancing along behind me.  Perhaps subconsciously I was clinging to my roots, despite being enamored with the Pacific Northwest.  I wanted to find flowered prints and checks.  We found them in perfect blues and yellows.

When we moved to the desert I thought the girls would want new bedding for their new rooms.  They played along, but the first opportunity they got they switched back to those soft, bulky, checkered comforters.  I was glad we’d spent the extra money for quality, durability that would last through slumber parties, forts, stair slides, nightmares, illnesses, and moves.  I’m glad to know how much they’ve meant to my girls, who no longer dance behind me, but in front, pulling me into their futures.

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