Tag Archives: growing up

Evening Storytime

2 Mar

Well, lovely readers, I think it’s time for an evening story. I sure could use one. A simple story. You know, the kind that you tell little kids. The kind that don’t sound scary, the kind that’ll make ’em laugh, but also the kind that when they remember that bedtime story again when they’re older, will give them a few moments pause. Will make them sit down and think. About whether there was maybe more to that story than they had caught onto at first.

That whatever they decide, at least it will have made them wonder.

So, a story for you this evening, lovely readers. A story called “Ice Cream Cone.”

ice cream cone

Ice Cream Cone

“Sue! Sue, hurry up!”

“I’m coming! I’m coming!” Sue’s voice ricocheted down the stairs at out the front door to the porch. I shuffled my feet on the wood planks, swung the creaky porch door back and forth. Swung it back and forth again. Still bored.

Grown-ups always take so long to go anywhere.

“Suuue!” I called up the stairs again.

“Hold your livestock, I’m coming!” Sue shouted down the stairs, clanging down each step in her steel-toed boots.

I held the door open for her as she bustled out. “Livestock?” I asked, curious. “Why livestock?”

“Oh, you think I should have said horses?” Sue locked the door after us. She looked down at me with her big, brassy face of loudness. “What if people don’t have horses? Don’t you think that’s a mite insensitive?”

I bit my lip and tried not to laugh. Sue was making her funny face again, the one where her eyebrows went all wiggly and her eyes got big and her voice got all squeaky and indignant. “But Aunt Sue,” I skipped so that I would be fast enough to keep up with her. Mama says that I have long legs for being only eight, but Sue’s legs have always been longest, ever since I can remember. Sue told me it’s her job to keep astride of everyone, she has to, so that’s why her steps are so big.

“But Aunt Sue, what about people who don’t have any animals? What if they don’t have cattle or sheep either?”

“Eh, little miss,” Sue stopped and bent down so that her heels propped up and her knees jutted out and her face was on the same level as mine. She reached out one of her hands, all rough from life’s work, she says, and brushed a stray piece of hair back from my face. She cupped both her hands around my face, the way she does when she’s trying to tell me something real important. “What about the people who don’t have any animals? That’s a good question, innit, little miss?”

I nodded. I didn’t know what Aunt Sue wanted me to say, I don’t a lot of times, so I just nodded and tried to look real serious, like I always do when I don’t know what Aunt Sue wants me to say, and she nodded back like always, ‘cause me nodding is good enough for her. She tells me to think about it. I don’t know why. Maybe one day she’ll ask me again, and then I’ll have an answer for her. Maybe. Mama usually just gets real quiet when I ask her if I should, and she just says I should try.

Aunt Sue was big-striding again. I skipped faster to catch up. Aunt Sue looked down at me, now she’s the one who’s all curious. “Little miss,” Aunt Sue always calls me little miss, not my name like Mama and Pa do, but I don’t mind because it’s special, “how come, little miss, you got so much energy like that? All the time?”

“Um,” I looked down at my feet, “Mama says it’s because I eat so much ice cream. But I like ice cream, so I don’t mind.”

“Well, I sure could use some energy.”

I looked up at Aunt Sue and made a face. Sometimes she didn’t seem to realize the obvious things. “Well,” I said, trying to sound like Aunt Sue did, “then you should eat an ice cream cone, of course.”

Aunt Sue stopped. She looked down at me and smiled, then opened her mouth and threw back her head and made a big belting laugh, like Papa sometimes does.

Me, I don’t know what was so funny.

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On a Long Week and Adulthood

14 Nov

This has been a long, odd week, lovely readers. Monday felt like Tuesday, except Tuesday apparently hated me and was even worse than the perennially detested Monday, and then Wednesday came in and decided that it could outdo Tuesday in the emotional writhing and logistical blows departments. It’s been fun. Where “fun” actually means “can I please rewind to Sunday and then press the ‘skip scene’ button so I can just move on to the weekend?”

I’m not sure how I feel about Thursday yet. I was the first one to the office (hoorah campus job), and considering ALL of my supervisors were at least 15 minutes late, it meant I got to be the one to handle three other people’s jobs until they showed up. But I did see a hummingbird while outside, waiting for security to come and unlock the building for me. And I think seeing a hummingbird is enough to make it a good day.

So, can I just go back to bed now?

Responsibility is tough. I don’t particularly like when I have to be “real world” adult. I’m not talking about being all grown up and taking care of myself and having to go work and pay bills and whatnot – I’m generally of the opinion that one can go out and do all those things, even be professional about it, but still come back home at the end of the day and build a fort in your bedroom. I usually find that the most well-adjusted adults are the ones that can still stick their tongue out at people and have tickle fights.

No, what I’m talking about is not the responsibility that I have as an adult to take care of myself and clean up my own messes. I’m talking about when I have to clean up other people’s messes because they’ve hurt me, but done absolutely nothing to the other person.

Like frantically calling my psychiatrist’s emergency phone number all night because my pharmacy still hadn’t filled my antidepressant prescription from three days ago and informed me that the medication was in fact on backorder, which is manufacturer speak for “god knows how long it’ll be till we get this to you.” Or like having to fill in for people, or run their errands for them, because they don’t have time and I forgot about the word “no.” Or like having to negotiate the sometimes conflicting expectations that other people have about my schedule when it comes to my being a volunteer and an employee and a student and a person.

This is the complicated part of being an adult. This is the part they don’t tell you about when they talk about preparing for the “real world.”

I’ll just go hide in that fort now, thank you.