September 15, 2008

"Stay away from my Cabbage."

I laughed when she said it, knowing how odd that it sounded. Only the five of us had any sense of what it meant. And certainly a passing stranger would find it odd. Probably thinking: "Stay away from my cabbage?" What's that mean?
It was another weekend. We all - all five of us - piled into the car on another adventure. Today we were on our way to see 3,031 flags. They stood in perfect uniform lines in Centennial Parkway in front of Sandy City Hall, spread out across two lawns. They were there in honor of all those who lost their live's in the 9/11 attacks. We didn't know it right away, but there was actually only 1,776 of them, and to only see a little over half of them was an impressive site. I was trying to imagine what 3,031 would have looked like. It was an honor to walk among this field of flags and share this experience with our two daughters and the neighborhood girl.
The neighborhood girl: I will call her Ayla because that's her name and because I think that's the way we spelled it two weeks ago when we took her bowling. Ayla...yes. I'm sure that's how we spelled her name on the scoreboard. Ayla - winner of the first game. She beat us all. Her presence has become growingly familiar. All summer long she has kind of lived at our house and has become a traveling companion whenever we go anywhere. And so now whenever we do something as a family the girl's will ask can we call Ayla? Can Ayla come with us? And so...that is the neighborhood girl. And she is never more than two feet away; even when she's more than two feet away she really isn't, because now they all have cell phones.
Last week we went to the museum. We saw the Monet to Picasso exhibit from the Cleveland Museum of Art. We would never have gone except for the youngest was privy to the fact that the exhibit was in town and she indicated that she really wanted to go. Plus teacher said that it would be good. Teacher was right. Once again we had all piled into the car - all five of us - for our weekend excursion. We visited the past and unanimously voted that Van Gogh laid on way too much paint. Did he really use a brush or were those just giant fingerprints? Rodin was amazing and Salvador Dali was...well...we all agreed he was just wierd even though he seemed to speak to all of us.
When we hopped into the car on Sunday to go see the flags Aly was moving at her usual snail pace chomping down on what I assumed was a chunk of lettuce. Ayla was already in the backseat of the car laughing and mimicking Aly by saying, "Stay away from my cabbage." It was perfectly natural to hear this. And the funny thing was, Aly really had cabbage. The bond these girls have formed is fun to watch. It's a new dynamic and I'm sure that it will grow in our household as the girls continue to make new friends and get older.
Last night Jeni told me how last year Ayla wrote on everyones T-shirt on the last day of school the same verbage. Thinking that she was writing an acronym for Have A Great Summer (HAGS), she went around signing FAGS on everybody's shirt because she read it wrong in homeroom. Jen and Aly caught up with her on the playground later that day and told her that someone was going around school writing FAGS on everyone's shirts. To which Ayla replied, "I know, huh. Isn't it cool." And then they explained it to her - oh the horror...

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