“What are you doing?”
I jump up, pushing flowers aside. Mommy doesn’t like when I play in her garden, since it’s “too messy”, and I’m a “bad bath-taker”. I don’t like how the soap hurts my eyes, but I thought I should risk a bath for this.
I shrug, hiding my secret in my clenched fist. Mommy won’t get it if I tell her, so I don’t.
She sighs. Her forehead is all wrinkly, and her mouth is frowning. I guess that means she’s not happy with me.
I hug her, feeling her squishy belly warm my face. “I’m sorry, Mommy. I’ll go inside.”
Her face turns soft. “Soon, okay? I don’t have time to worry about you.” She walks back into our house, readjusting her apron.
When I’m sure she’s gone, I slowly open my palm, shielding my prize with my other hand from anyone who could be spying on me. It’s a little crumpled, and the leaves are torn a bit, but it looks okay. I smile and slowly put it in my pocket.
Papa went to visit the doctor for a little while. I miss him a lot, but he’s sick. He told me he’ll be home soon, and to look after Mommy for him, since she’ll worry. I think he’ll be gone for more than a few days, though. I heard Mommy and Papa whispering to each other when I woke up one night after a bad dream, and I saw Mommy crying. She stopped when she noticed me, and I pretended I didn’t see. But I did.
So, since Papa’s gone, I’ve been trying to find something to cheer Mommy up. She doesn’t want to play games with me or go to the park, so it was a little hard to think of something.
I step out of the plants and look at my shoes. They’re very muddy now. I don’t think I’ll get in trouble, though, because of my gift. I pull Mommy’s present out of my pocket and pat it gently. This should make her feel better. I’m very lucky I found it. The greenness reminds me of the sunny days Mommy, Papa, and I sat in the grass and watched the clouds go by. Maybe this’ll remind Mommy, too.