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Trees. Full of life. Do we try to exemplify trees? They absorb nutrients to grow, just like we absorb knowledge to mature. They give oxygen to support other organisms, as we give love to survive with each other…
Christopher walks down the street thinking. I’m too small, why is this neighborhood so big? He walks towards the woods. He never thought they be so scary. The willows hanging over with grief. Waiting. Watching. He decides it’s a bad idea and scrambles back with fear. He hears a giggle. He frantically runs behind the pale-stone house. Worrying whether he was seen, he heads back, further and further. Christopher is startled as he his back touches the side of the house. He looks beyond and sees every neighbor’s backyard. Wow. What confronts him is what he’s always wanted and something that has never been conceived in his mind. A pool and a graveyard. How odd is the combination? One brings joy and the other: sorrow. And vice versa…
He slumps down into the dirt, not caring if he gets his new plaid shorts dirty. Mom does laundry anyway. He looks up in the sky. The clouds, wispy and soft as they hug the turquoise abyss. He sees a t-rex and a monster truck. He smiles that cute boy-ish smile that you see in TeenBop magazines. Curling his dark brown hair with his skinny finger, he wonders where they are. How long have I been here?
“I see you! HA!”
Startled, Christopher lets out a tiny yelp and then a brilliant smile lights the day. He gets up and runs towards the front of the house. His older sister Pegi runs after him with determination. She catches up and tackles him to the ground.
“I got you! I’m faster! I win!” she exclaims with great joy. No she won again! She always wins!
Pegi’s black pig tails bounce around as she gets up and dusts her Mickey Mouse shirt and faded jean shorts off. She helps Christopher off the ground and dusts off his power rangers shirt. They walk towards the beige house across the street. Pegi’s fingers curl around the handle and turn. Their noses are presented with the sweet smell of Russian tea cookies. Ahh… Kourambiethes.
“Mommy!” he yells out to the kitchen.
“Yes Christopher?” She walks out to the living room and gives Christopher and Pegi a kiss on top of their heads. A giggle escapes her lips as she sees Sofia in her crib.
“I love Aladdin!” she says as she bounces onto the couch. Christopher springs onto the adjacent couch and watches genie magically pop out of the lamp.
Sofia’s dark eyes gaze at the genie. Her way-too-young mind unable to process what’s happening.
The genie with his lively persona jumps out at her. Her fascination clinging onto the carton.
“Ten thousand years will give you such a crick in the neck!”
Her giggles are suffocating the room. Pegi and Christopher laugh at her laughter. Sofia bends her knees and slaps the contraption she stands in. Their laughter then overcomes Sofia’s giggles. All their worries carelessly disregarded by their immaturity. Ha. Who am I kidding? What worries? They’re kids.
I want a cookie. Christopher walks into the kitchen and looks up at his mother. His mother. The sunlight glistening on her auburn hair. She looks down at his big brown eyes while he looks up into her hazel wonders.
“Can I have a cookie?” he asks shyly.
“What do you say?”
She gives him a cookie and tells him to eat it at the table. Mother knows he’ll make a mess so she supervises. Walking over to the table, she grabs napkins and sits down next to him. She smiles. My children are so beautiful. Christopher looks up and his face is covered in powdered sugar. Mother laughs and wipes his face. She gives him a cup of milk and he gulps it down. Getting up quickly and sprinting to the living room, he manages to say thank you. She smiles and walks into the living room.
“I had a cookie,” he says to his older sister.
“Good for you,” she responds, not caring much.
Christopher chews the remaining cookie left in his mouth. Sofia is still lit up with pure happiness kissing her chubby cheeks. Mother picks her up and Sofia starts speaking her “baby-talk.” Suddenly interested in doing something else, Christopher gets up and heads towards the back door. He stands on his tippy-toes and reaching for the handle. Father can see him through the door and opens it for him.
“Hey little man!” he says as he picks him up and steadies him on the patio. Father’s dark skin brings out the white in his eyes. He notices that his son has powdered sugar on the side of his lip. Christopher wipes his face with the back of his hand.
The sun has set. Indigo paint encloses the sky with cotton blends of cream. Rivers of apricot jelly running down the sides of the charcoal clouds. This is the crowning moment of the watermelon-skin grass. The king himself appears with great brilliance. The Sun. He greets his fellow neighbors and thanks them for yet another day of cooperation. He slips past the moon, giving her his last wink before bedtime. The trees allowing little sunlight left through their branches. The giant tree in our backyard: how majestic. Lively. Lovely. Just like Mother. How old is he? Christopher wonders at it. Why am I so small? Father brings him closer, putting his arm around his tiny shoulder. Christopher realizes that Mother and Father are his trees. They both smile.
Trees. Full of life. Do we try to exemplify trees? They absorb nutrients to grow, just like we absorb knowledge to mature. They give oxygen to support other organisms, as we give love to survive with each other. Do you have a tree? Are they there for you? Let them be your tree so that you can become one for someone else.