The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.
~ e.e. cummings


It was a day of endings and beginnings–

8th Grade Commencement My youngest, last born, always-baby-to-me, celebrating 8th grade commencement; his, both farewell to middle school and long-anticipated entry to high school…

But for me?  Bitter and sweet, a slow crawl in the direction of nest empty.  

So we did what you're supposed to do: celebrate with a bunch of friends, a fun lunch downtown.

Another post-commencement tradition in our area is to end up at Coolidge Park, to me one of Chattanooga's shiniest diamonds.  It's wide open spaces and a river snaking close and a place to dance under animals squirting water…and even dry ones to ride in circles.  

I love it.

On this day my son chose sides and I wasn't on his.  It sounds so harsh written that way, but it was no cruel act of rejection; just the natural course of growing up and tiptoeing out.

So I took my camera and headed in another direction…

and discovered a handful of pixies!

Toddlers splashing in a puddle

One was dressed in rainbows.  Another sprinkled rainbows in her hair.  And Boy Wonder, he dared to paint rainbows on his cheeks!  



Back and forth they galloped, wild stallions Shetland ponies running wild.


splashing in puddles

The happiest feet I've ever seen.




Peels of laughter fleeing their lips and floating to the heavens, then bursting and showering delight over the earth.  It was palpable.  And contagious.

Their exuberance held me captive; their joy, intoxicating.


One of them was a thief.  

She stole my heart.


Cherubic cheeks…infectious grin…pudgy arms and dimpled legs?

This little creature didn't play fair!




She wasn't so sure about me, though.



Chasing Neverland and learning to fly…
I see their wings, don't you?




Not long from now they'll leave the nest, too.



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