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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I wish that I could be like the cool kids...

I knew that one day the phrase would eventually come back and bite me in the... well, you know where and it finally did. For several years now, when Senia Mae feels hesitant about anything from riding her bike down a hill to heading into kindergarten all by herself, I have jokingly said, "Come on, all the cool kids are doing it!"

Last summer we were celebrating a two year old's birthday party. The high school principal happened to be the birthday girl's grandmother. She overheard me reciting my line to Senia mae and laughed. "You better watch that one," she said, slapping me gently on the shoulder as she turned away. I laughed back and thought nothing of it.

A few weeks ago after getting home from school, Senia Mae came down the front steps in her new apricot laced, knee length school dress with matching white patent leather slip-ons. Without thinking I dashed in the house, unloading my armload of supplies I had lugged from the car down the thirty steps to the house, trying not to drop anything as I managed my daily balancing act. As usual my mind easily wandered and I was soon wrapped up in another chore, cleaning off the counter so I could prepare dinner while Senia Mae played outside. After several minutes of not seeing my vibrant child skipping, squealing, and doing pirouettes through the front yard, I knew something was awry. Grabbing the dish towel, I quickly wiped off my hands and headed out the screened door.

In the distance I heard the usual outdoor noises, chickens clucking, crickets chirping, owls hooting, all mixed with a little girl's voice talking quietly to herself. I rounded the corner and saw Senia Mae sitting happily in the chicken coop. She was holding her favorite chicken in her arms as she perched herself, still clothed in her beautiful lacy dress, on the poop covered ladder to the nesting box. You could tell by her look of absolute pleasure that she was where she wanted to be, spending quality time co-mingling with her fluffy, feathered friends.

"Senia Mae," I screamed, resisting the urge to yank her out of there by the ponytail, "What are you doing sitting in the chicken coop with your school clothes on?" She looked up at me with total surprise, as if she couldn't possibly understand what was making me so agitated. And do you want to know her response?

"Momma, all the cool kids are doing it!"

I guess I deserved that one.

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