Four year old Little Bear stopped and plucked a dandelion in full feather, saying, “I wish for a dog!” “Me too,” cried his brother. Me three, I said, and we blew the fluff right off that dandelion so enthusiastically that a seed or two landed in Little Bear’s open mouth. Sputtering, he recovered his dignity and we continued up the hill.
At the top, Widget picked a second dandelion, asking me first what I wished for, if I could have anything in the world. As we had had a little talk about cancer that morning, preparing him for an upcoming class for kids of parents with cancer, I was honest with him, kneeling down and telling him my wish for many more years together. “Me too!” said Widget, and he asked “What do you wish for, Bear?” “A dog!” said Bear, oblivious to the topic at hand, focused entirely on the Chow we’d passed earlier.
We blew that dandelion out fiercely, taking care to avoid Bear’s face this time, but one must have floated back our direction, because as I heard Widget explain what had just happened to Bear, I had to wipe something from my eye. Such little bits of children they are, to deal with such big topics, but so strong.
My sadness disappeared quickly as I heard Widget explain, “We wished for many more years together, Bear. Maybe even a whole lifetime!”
The sun was shining as he pedaled away, and the birds sang happily above.