“Mom, can we get this one, please?” begged the little boy, eyeing the whimsically designed game that Chloe and Sophie adored when they were his age. He examined the brightly colored box and its well-worn contents with the kind of childlike yearning my girls haven’t expressed in years. When his mother gently refused to buy it for him, he eventually chose another toy and walked away happy. He reminded me of Lisa, the young girl who fatefully discovered the slightly damaged, but ever-so-lovable Corduroy in the department store.
Sophie walked toward me and tried, without much success, to suppress her grin. Gesturing with her hands in excitement, she yelled “Mom!” several times as she approached the dining room table where I was sitting.
“I finished Harry Potter! I finished it! I can’t believe I finished it!”
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I kept journals. During my senior year in high school and throughout college, and again for two years in my early 30s after my father died, I filled more than 20 blank books with the minute details of my inner and outer lives.
A few months ago, I found them in a box in my basement. After reading a few entries, I quickly realized I wasn’t ready to revisit my past. I closed the box, put it back on the shelf and returned to my daily routine.
For Part I of our Iceland adventures, click here.
If you read my previous entry about Iceland, in which I waxed rhapsodic about the gorgeous waterfalls we encountered during our travels, I might have given you the impression that the country was conjured up by fairies to seduce humans into thinking their otherworldly realm truly does exist. Well, consider me seduced.
“Not another waterfall!” Sophie moaned when I announced our sightseeing plans for the day. A mere three days into our Iceland vacation, we had already marveled at more waterfalls than one could reasonably expect to marvel at in a lifetime. They were all so beautiful and so different – it was impossible to become immune to them. Unless your name is Sophie. While the waterfalls didn’t melt her heart, she often found the landscapes surrounding them full of surprises and hard to resist.
For Part I of our Moroccan adventures in Rabat, Fez and Volubilis, click here.
The Sahara awaited us. We climbed into our 4×4 vehicles and drove to our campsite near the frontier town of Merzouga. Soon after we left the paved road, we had our first encounter with the legendary landscape. It was not what I expected, however. We had entered the rocky desert (the “reg”). After another 45 minutes of driving, we finally found ourselves in the sandy desert (the “erg”) of the movies and guidebooks. The wind started to pick up as we spotted the magical dunes in the distance.
Left the kids behind. Left the husband behind. Left the dog behind. And hopped on a plane with my mother to discover the wonders of Morocco. A two-week adventure. A dream come true.
The “Romeo and Juliet” script was sitting on the dining room table, looking forlorn and abandoned. It was 11:30 am. A mere three hours earlier, I had assured Sophie on the way to the bus stop that I had put it in her backpack.
“Damn, she’s tall!” I marveled as Sophie stood beside her friends the other day. She towered over her 10-year old peers by several inches and although her rapidly increasing height wasn’t news to me, it was still startling to see the contrast.
The sound of men gamely cheering as their team scores a soccer goal. The sound of two girls kicking their own ball as they emulate their dads playing on the field. The sound of large paper target faces crinkling in the breeze as they’re placed on their stands in preparation for a morning of archery. The sound of children yelling in the playground as they swing and climb.