And, they bring Sky with them.
The girls are piled up in their Mother’s sedan, prepared for an outing. They are going to visit with their Aunt May, their Mom’s oldest sister. She has a farm. The girls spend hours playing with the animals and tending to the fields. Today is Aunt May’s widow-versary. That is what their Mom calls it. It is the twentieth year she has been without her Henry, and the girls look forward to her stories. They decide to bring a little Sky with them.
“Sky’s holdin’ on, Lacy. This is a bumpy ride Mom’s got us on.”
“What are you fussin’ about back there, Missy? Sass in your mouth? Want me help you get it out?”
“No, ma’am. I wasn’t sassin’. I was just tellin’ Lacy Sky was holdin’ on cuz of the bumpy ride.”
“Why’d y’all even bring that bucket? You know your Aunt May don’t like no nonsense about her home. I wish she would call me today with any bad news about either of you. I AM WISHIN’! Cuz if she does, I’ve got something for the two of you.”
Sky’s listening. Sadie has had a rough night, an even rougher day thus far. Totty did not sleep well last night; stomach bug. So now, she’s taking her anger out on the girls. Sky drifts a bit, but hears every word.
A bucket of understanding.
This is Lacy speaking, although rare, that she has something to say. Now, seems like the perfect time.
“You’ve been fussin’ mighty hard at us today. We do somethin’ wrong? I’ve been thinkin’ about it. I brushed my teeth. I have on clean underwear. Missy smells good. She put on that new lotion you bought for us, but you’re not happy. We do somethin’?”
Sadie was caught off guard with this. How could ten-year-old girls be so wise? She wants this wisdom. She craves it.
SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS WISE ENOUGH TO MOTHER THEM.
“Y’all ain’t do nothin’’ wrong. Totty gave me a fit last night. I didn’t get any sleep. My head hurts, my body aches, my soul is empty, and I am missin’ your Daddy somethin’ awful today, baby. I’m sorry for fussin’. I don’t mean you no harm.”
They pull up to their Aunt May’s house and she is standing on the porch, waiting for them to exit the car. Her hair is blowing in the wind. Gold and gray dancing on every strand. She has a gap in between her two front teeth, and as she smiles, love is nestling there. The girls are excited to see her and make a way for her, careful not to drop any sky on the way.
Little girls dream big/they got good news/Little girls love surprises/They never sing the blues/Little girls say sweet things/Got sugar for words/Little girls sing sweet songs/Sweeter than the birds’.
Aunt May opens her arms and welcomes Missy and Lacy into them. She is big and soft. Her chest smells like cinnamon. The girls hang on tight, enjoying her hold. Sky likes it here too.
“Been waitin’ forever for y’all. What took so long? Never-mind any of that. Just glad y’all here, that’s for sure. What we gon’ get into, girls? Let’s see what we can find.”
Aunt May was happier to see them than she’s ever been. Her widow-versary, and she was not sad, not one bit. Missy notices the change and makes a remark, one that gives Aunt May’s heart several faster beats.
“You look really good today, Aunt May. The best I’ve seen you in my short years as a girl. I love it here more when you’re happy. Can we have more of this when we come over?”
Aunt May wipes the single tear that decides to slip from her twitchy, right eye, flicks it with her finger, and says:
“Anything you want, baby. Anything.”