Monday, January 17, 2011

What Matters

On my walk through the neighborhood this morning, I passed two little kids unfolding a card table on their front lawn.  The boy looked to be about six; the girl about three.  Both were bed-haired and dressed the way locals at the beach dress on cool winter mornings, which is to say, barefoot and without coats.

As I passed, the girl whined and the boy said, “It doesn’t really matter, Lil.”  His tone was parental and kind, and the girl was immediately quiet.

I kept walking.  I wondered what the boy’s name was.  I decided it was Carson, because I’ve known two little girls named Lily who had brothers named Carson.  And also because I’m watching “Downton Abbey.”

At the end of the block, tacked onto a telephone pole at a level only a Pomeranian could see: a torn piece of lined notebook paper , “yard sale” and an arrow scrawled in childish blue crayon.

These kids reminded me of my own, seen this weekend in Monterey.  The 21-year-old dragged her non-dancing boyfriend to watch her brother compete in a west-coast swing competition.  The 25-year-old (he came in fourth in Intermediate Jack ‘n Jills) bragged when she was out of earshot about her many accomplishments as if they were his own.

I want to tell Carson and Lily, You have no idea how much it matters.

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