“Let’s color for a minute,” Rory asks sweetly. It is early morning and Ryder has already declared the day “the best ever!” No doubt the Krispy Kreme doughnuts left over from my birthday influenced that declaration. I pause to color a three by three sheet of paper. Satisfied, Rory skips off with her crayons. I look back to the screen to complete my request for an exit interview at the end of the month. My time at my job of eight years is coming to an end. The emotions are running high and mixed. This decision was mine. After much thought and prayer, it is time to go. In a sentence – the kids need me.
The line is set. The distance between is precise. The inevitable push is lurking. Click, click, click, click, the porcelain rectangle hits the next, and the next, and the next. All the preparation has paid off. The line moved in tandem with my expectations. Click, click, click, one fell after the other as if passing a baton from one dedicated runner to the next.
Yesterday, Ryder and I went on a walk to get out of the house. Our local news was forecasting a strong chance of cabin fever for all citizens while a hurricane blew through. Despite being designated a “flood zone”, our sea level neighborhood, surrounded by creeks and marshes, didn’t experience any flooding, although our neighbors weren’t as lucky. We took advantage of the unexpected dryness to take in some windy and shockingly cold air, thankfully sans kayaks.
As we walked through the neighborhood, park Ryder noticed mushrooms. He spotted many different kinds – warm sugary browns, soft yellows, and bright whites. Ryder thought it was amazing that even though tree limbs, trash cans, parts of houses, furniture, and other debris along our path to the park were in disarray, these tiny, soft, white mushrooms stood strong. They weren’t the ones clustered together, tucked tight between strong tree roots, and lying close to the ground; they were out in the open, gently wobbling as forceful gusts blew through the field in the park.