Sunday, April 4, 2021

Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Today

by Maureen Bonatch

Last year was the first time we spent Easter at home with just our girls. COVID cancelled our usual celebration with family, but it also changed my daughter's plans to return to school since it suddenly went online at the end of spring break. 

This year will be another different type of year as my daughters are back on campus, but precautions remain in place so it will be the first Easter that we don't get to see them. We will see them on Zoom, of course. Thank goodness for the wonders of technology.

Then some of my extended family members got COVID and an additional family get together for this weekend was rescheduled for a later date. 

We're on our way back to a new normal, but we're not there yet. 

Part of me wants to rush time along so everything gets back to at least semi-normal, or until the semester ends so I can see my girls. But then I think about just how fast time goes by. I only realized that April 4th had snuck up one day prior, and remembered that I had a post to write for all my peeps here!

My brain came up empty as I dwelled on this very different holiday weekend this year. I looked through some of my old flash fiction, thinking I might have something related to spring. I came across this one. It's something that I probably wrote when my girls were in elementary school themselves. It made me think once again how fast time goes by, and how important it is to cherish every stage of our lives and the memories we create. 

Another Summer

    “I can’t believe the school year is over.” Lisa folded her arms across her cobalt shirt and grimaced. “I’m dreading entertaining Anthony and Johnny all summer.” 
        Susan smiled, taking in the clear blue sky. “I’m kind of looking forward to spending time with Tessa.”      
     The roar of the bus announced its arrival. Above the Blue Bird Bus logo, tiny heads bobbed as they scurried to exit. 
    Whoops and cheers emanated from the tiny mob, celebrating three months of freedom. 
     Susan searched the faces. 
     “Tessa?” Susan’s smile faltered. Her daughter's Blue’s Clues lunchbox clanked against her jean clad leg as she burst toward her mother. 
     “What’s wrong?” Susan clutched Tessa after she collided into her legs. Her cries muffled against Susan’s indigo shorts. 
    Tessa’s baby blue eyes scrunched up, pushing fat tears down her cheeks as she wailed, “I miss Julie!” 
     “What? You just saw her.” Susan gestured to the pig-tailed girl sporting navy ribbons and an identical expression of agony peering out the bus window as it continued up the hill. 
    Tessa sniffled, throwing her head back and opening her mouth so wide that she was in danger of choking on her strawberry bubblegum and bellowed, “I won’t get to see Julie all summer!” 
     Susan met Lisa’s gaze as she was trying to corral her two terrors wrestling on the lawn, adding more black and blue marks to their collection. 
    “Still looking forward to it?” Lisa smirked with a raised brow. Susan was spared a reply when the boys rolled over the Cool Berry juice box from their lunch, spraying a sapphire colored liquid over them.      
     “Boys!” Lisa deftly separated their intertwined limbs and stilled them with a narrowed look. Heads hanging, they trudged behind their mother. 
     Susan knelt to Tessa, smoothing hair from her face and wiping a tissue over her swollen cheeks. “Sweetheart, think of all the fun you and I can have. Most kids are happy for summer break, just look at Anthony and Johnny.” 
    The scolding already forgotten, they rushed ahead and stripped off their stained shirts and dove into an inflated swimming pool. 
 Tessa’s chin rested upon her chest and her whimpering continued. “That’s because they have someone to play with.” “Well you and I can do plenty together and I’m sure Anthony and Johnny would love to play with you—” 
    “Mama!” Tessa’s face contorted into an expression of horror. “They’re boys! And you’re old!” 
     “Oh.” Susan frowned. Her baby was growing up. 
    “Well,” Susan hid her dismay by hugging her daughter tightly. “Julie only lives a mile away. You can still play, phone her or write letters.” 
    Tessa pulled away. “Can she have a sleepover sometime? I’m the only girl in my class who’s never had one.” Placing her hands on her hips Tessa declared. “I’m not a baby anymore.” 
    “Well,” Susan sighed. “Okay.” Tessa’s smile lit up her face. “Thank you, mama!” She threw her arms around her mother. Susan laughed. 
    “As long as you know you’ll always be my baby.”

Happy Easter - Happy Spring - from Scuff!

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebook Twitter 

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Diane Burton said...

What a cute story.

Covid has done a number on all of us. I'm so sorry you won't be able to be with your girls today but, as you wrote, the wonders of technology enable you to visit with them. For me, the hardest part of covid self-quarantine has been not seeing/playing with my grandchildren. Yes, we have Zoom and FaceTime, but actually holding them, hugging them was not possible until my inoculation. Our new normal looks so different from two years ago. But we adapt, do we? We're resilient. Wishing you & your family good times ahead.

Maureen said...

Thank you, Diane! So true that we are resilient- wishing you all the best as well.

Mary Morgan said...

One lesson I've learned from 2020 and Covid was 'patience', Maureen. Thank you for a beautiful post. Happy Easter and Spring.

Maureen said...

That's wonderful, Mary. Thank you!