Today was like my morning cup
of Starbuck’s coffee – filled to the brim:
Horseback riding, single file
until my horse turned back to
attack my husband’s mare.
A kink on the trail, a rift on the edge of a cliff,
all because his horse drew too near
to mine’s rear (no metaphor there!)
On to high ropes and balance beams galore,
twenty feet above the arcade floor.
I focused on my trembling child
through the camera’s lens
as she grasped the overhead strap
securely clasped to her harness.
I thought about how witnessing their falls
is the hardest part of all of being a parent.
Later, she grabbed my hand;
our eyes locked and she smiled.
Looking star-struck, she said,
“I love you, Mommy.”
“I love you, too,” I replied.
Then to the arcade; what luck!
My two normally feuding ducks
became one to conquer the claw,
each one capturing a huge knobby ball.
And the youngest, with baby elephant tucked under arm,
desperately fed the monster machine her own food,
praying it would regurgitate another stuffed cutie
for her sad older sister.
Next was 3-D golf under a mini-sea.
Sharks swiftly swam. Stingrays slyly smiled.
No score was kept for that would have only
interrupted the conduit of fun.
At dinner, my 12-year-old declared, “YOLO!”*
before tossing a jalapeño into her mouth. Oh!
Guts busted when wet paper lined her tongue
as she tried to wipe the fire with a four-ply napkin.
Next to her, my 8-year-old daughter’s French fries
fraternized on a Frisbee flipped up, which
we later threw around with bouts of laughter.
As the sun rose, I poured out some of my coffee
to make room for cream and sugar, like discarding
a week of work for a family vacation.
I sipped slowly and smiled softly
at the day I didn’t yet know,
at the memories which lied ahead.
*YOLO – You Only Live Once