“Mom says we have to finish our homework first.” Sam was rereading his answers. Isabella made faces while she waited. She’d been done with her homework for ages now. How could he still be doing his? She watched as he carefully erased and answer and rewrote it. Isabella sighed heavily. Bored.
“Go play with the my sims. I’ll get you when I’m done and we can go fight the dragons.”
Isabella lept from the chair so quickly she almost knocked it over. She loved the my sims. Her mom had told her to be very careful with them, but she’d put Isabella’s favorites on the bottom shelf where she could reach them. How many different sims were there? Hundreds, perhaps. She wanted to collect them all.
“Izzy?” Sam called from the kitchen. She bolted up, leaving the doll behind.
“Did you put away the dolls?”
Isabella trudged back the room and picked up the sim. She placed it carefully onto the shelf, knowing her brother was watching. He was so picky about stupid things like that.
“Perfect,” he announced.
They raced outside.
“Where are you two headed?” Their mother called as they rocketed past.
“Dragons!” Sam called back.
“Dinner’s in a hour! Don’t forget.”
Chana watched her two children tear off across the yard. Sam was so good with his sister. She knew he could outrun her in a heartbeat, but he made sure never to get too far ahead of her so she would be discouraged and give up. He always had time for his sister. Even though he was still a child, she could see the fine adult he would be. All too soon, she thought. He’s growing up right before my eyes.
We all are; she eyed the cake she’d baked earlier. It was cooling on the window sill. Last time they’d hardly had a kitchen much less a proper oven to bake anything in. Everything was roasted over the fire, or bought in town. She checked the time. Perfect, Arty would be home from work any moment. She was proud of how far he’d come. Who knew that his last recording – Let the Sun Shine In – would be such a hit. Top ten on the billboards. But he didn’t let fame get to his head. He might be gone on weekend more often, touring gigs, but at home he was always just Arty, the man she’d married.
Sammy made sure he and Isabella returned in time to wash up for dinner. And right on time Arturo came home. Chana let the chatter of voices wash over her as Isabella spoke excitedly of the great dragon that lived under the mountain and their quests to find it. She basked in the warm glow of family.
After dinner it was time for Arturo to do the honors. Chana brought out the cake and lit the candles.
“Happy birthday, daddy!” Sammy and Isabella shouted as she set the cake on the table. Arturo glanced over at her, his eyes twinkling before he leaned forward and blew. Spinning into that next stage of life.