They walked without me, and I couldn't say I was sorry. I got golden silence. I got silver stillness. They got stretched out and unfurled. They forced their noise into the big, big sky. The sky must have absorbed it like a great, blue belly full of laughter.
Anyway, they returned.
First, the screecher...
She bounced into home base. I think she even flew at one point, which was probably against home-base-rules, but I'm a terrible umpire, so I let it pass. It was either that, or devour her with penalty kisses. Or maybe it was both.
Next, came the girl with the tucked-in tunic. Her sherpa boots contrasted superbly against her sister's sandals. Juxtaposition is her middle name. She's not afraid of a showdown.
Plus, she was prepared to woo: she carried a flower for mama. Instant heartmelt. She can tuck tunics for the rest of her life (or at least until adolescence descends, bringing too much self-awareness) and all I will see is the smile on her face.
Then there was this one. The one who expects walks to extend nigh unto eternity. The one who will run away down the street before submitting to the cruelty of being put back in the house.
The one who would rather chew carrots (not ever, not at all) than be escorted away from the street. The one who had fallen into a puddle two blocks ago, and must have been chilled to his tiny bones.
Something about the fresh air, though, and that insulating layer of blue-bellied sky helped soak up his cries. I was kind of jealous of the sky; those angry yells belonged in my arms.
So the golden silence was gone, but my family was home. It all balanced out in the end.