Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Best Day

This weekend was my niece Ramona's birthday. She had her party at a place full of inflatable bouncing things. You gotta love a party invitation that comes with a detachable injury liability release form. The kids were just going all over the place, having a ball. Adults too. (Let it be noted here that I beat Mark on the obstacle course.) After everyone had reached the point of total exhaustion we were ushered into the party room for the birthday cake. They sat Ramona on a giant inflatable throne and wheeled over a cart with her double chocolate ice cream cake with orange frosting and flip flops (?) on it, and...a candle shaped like the number 7. Her new age! That's when it hit me, little Ramona is SEVEN! That is an age I can remember being. But everything before that is kind of vague, mostly memories from pictures or stories that other people have told me. Will Ramona remember very much of her life before this day? Such as the day last October when Ramona and her brother Cale were at our house for a sleepover, and I took them and Jeffrey for a long bike ride on the trail that has been made out of old train tracks. We rode and rode until Ramona started to complain, so we stopped at a little wooden bridge. She asked me how far we'd gone and I said two miles. So she said "well I can't go any more because that's the longest I've ever ridden my bike, two miles." But we had to get back! I convinced her that a rest would make it seem like two different rides. "And we'll take lots of breaks." So Cale and Jeffrey went off to explore another bridge and Ramona and I sat and threw rocks into the creek and tried to make the biggest splash noise. She told me about first grade. "It's awful," she said. "Why?" "Well there's lunch!" After a while we all started back. Not very long at all there was more complaining. I wasn't sure what to do. We stopped again, and I saw something that I somehow knew about. Milkweed seed pods. I showed the kids how to open them up and let the fluffy seeds float away. They kept riding until they found more. Jeffrey had the idea to fill up his hood with seeds and then fling them out as he was riding. Ramona filled up her handlebar basket and tossed them as we rode. The sun was shining that deep golden color of fall, and we were just laughing all the way, seeds floating everywhere. Ramona looked up at me and said: "This is just the best day!" The best day! And this girl has been to Disneyworld! When she saw my expression she qualified it: "Well, you know" But still. What makes a day best? Is it easier to have a best day when you have had so few of them already? Do we keep having them, getting more "best" as they go? I don't know what my Best Day is, or if I've even had it yet, but I'm sure it would include being with someone who listens, and laughing, and sunshine! I suspect that Ramona might not even remember that day when she's older, but I'm hoping that someday, somewhere, she is outdoors in the fall with a child and sees a milkweed seed pod, and opens it up and shakes the fluffy seeds out to float away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pass the kleenex.
Ramona's Mom