Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Entry #73

Out on a Limb
by Angelique H. Caffrey


I only climbed the tree because I felt like it.

It was four past two on a Tuesday afternoon when I hoisted myself up into the air. Suspended at intervals by the crook of an arm or a leg, I ascended the tree. In roughly 24 minutes I was as high as I wanted to be.

For 31 minutes, I was one with a natural world of bark, birds, wind and beetles, safely held against the strong trunk by two sturdy limbs.

Then it was 2:59 p.m.

Tanya and David came home from school and found their mommy in the tree out back.

“What are you doing up there?” Tanya demanded. Her ‘tweener voice shook with embarrassment.

David, only eight, was less hostile. “You look silly.” Then, “But that’s cool.”

“It is not ‘cool’!” raged Tanya. She turned her head upward. “You get down here before someone sees you!”

I stuck out my tongue. Her face took on the color of a violent sunset.

“Are you coming down for dinner?” David wanted to know. I shrugged my shoulders and looked away, admiring a farmer’s field that soon would hold a bounty of corn.

“Why are you doing this?” Tanya’s rage only made me smile.

“I’m calling Dad!” She fled into the house.

I breathed deeply. The air was fresh, brown, alive.

Below me, David said nothing. My eyes met his, dark circles speckled with gold flecks. My treasure.

Pause.

“Can I come up?”

I laughed and extended my hand.

24 comments:

Marcia (MeeAugraphie) said...

This is so fun to read. My son back then would have reacted like the daughter, or worse.

paisley said...

well i think she deserved it... what a pleasant story....

Victor Bravo Monchego, Jr said...

made me smile. thank you.

BernardL said...

Beautiful. :)

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

What a lovely, heartwarming story :-)

Beth said...

Definitely a smile maker. Reminds me of my own two and me!

Sarah Hina said...

There's still a kid in all of us! I loved the idea, and the execution, behind this story. A real treasure. :)

As a mom especially, this felt really authentic to me. I'm glad you ended the contest on a happy note!

Hoodie said...

I wanna come up too!

I love mommy stories. Sometimes you get to remember who you were before runny noses and homework problems. This is great.

And the writing is so good too. I love the air being alive and brown. Good work, my friend. Glad you made it in before the deadline. :)

Aerin said...

I agree with Sarah, this was the perfect ending note to the contest! Gotta love those tweeners...

wrath999 said...

An innocence in this tale is right on (David) Great job

Precie said...

Great role reversal and optimism! Can I come up too? :)

bekbek said...

I loved the use of the clock-time here. I've only had a "kid" in the house for a few years, and he's almost an adult - but still, that everyday time of the arrival home from school is like a line that is drawn between lives. Not bad, but there is a sense of freedom that one is aware of losing at a certain time each day. You have captured that freedom, but also that awareness of the clock. Great!

Bernita said...

Oh, sweet!
And absolutely real.

SzélsőFa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SzélsőFa said...

See me climbing one of these days, Angelique?
What a cute piece!
I liked the determination of the mother and the other two characters were made quite realistic, too! Well done.

Rob said...

Terrific entry. I love the role-reversal.

Anna said...

This is fun. And it made me smile. Thanks.

iLL Man said...

I think it's the contrast between the children that drew me into this one. It's the annoying ones who demand order that end up having the biggest influence on your life, for better or worse.....

bluesugarpoet said...

Great story! Climbing a tree = easy. Parenting a tweener - now that's scary!

ChristineEldin said...

This bounces happily along!

Love it!!

The Quoibler said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments, everyone! I really appreciate the feedback.

Currently, I have a four-and-a-half year old... no 'tweeners. But I teach 'tweeners. Oh, the DRAMA! Everything is over the top and waaaaay too important. So funny, really!

Angelique

SzélsőFa said...

Congratulations, Angelique!

jason evans said...

Great ending! A very astute commentary on the strength of identity in the face of parenting. Very well done! High marks!

Congratulations on the honorable mention!!

Aine said...

Fun and light-hearted! The kids are perfect representatives of their ages. And the mom represents a common fantasy-- indulging in a whim to escape the daily routine. I hope the daughter appreciates her mom's individuality someday...

I really enjoyed this!