Updated: Apr 15
Self-isolation Day 23,
Today l led an expedition with my two daughters into the forgotten corner of our backyard. The front yard faces the world, a tamed and manicured placard advertising our family’s worth. But the back is an untamed wilderness hidden behind a cement wall. Filled with wonder and wild yet to be discovered.
Many may wonder why I would take my daughters with me on such a dangerous mission into the unknown. The past days of isolation have brought us closer. I have seen their abilities through games of blocks, Go Fish and tea parties the President would be proud to attend.
Jade’s ability to solve a crime in Clue is unmatched. If anyone can find the answers I need, it’s her. Annika’s keen sense of shapes will help us find our way through the dense underbrush. The two-year-old has fit blocks into shapes I didn’t know possible. Her vision, closer to the ground, will uncover feral cat paths I would miss.
“Don’t lose sight of them.” My wife warned. “They could get lost in that mess.”
I’m not worried. My girls and I have formed a bond of teamwork through these days of isolation. Their mother kisses them good-bye checking their equipment one last time. A glittering unicorn backpack is slung over Jade’s back. Annika’s play-purse hangs from her shoulder. Who knows what that purse contains, I only hope it will be useful when we need it. We are all wearing long shirts and pants to protect against the thick brush.
Jade leads the way, she’s fearless. Annika is quick at her side; the girls hold hands as Annika points out
paths. From time to time I’m called up as muscle. I hack a path where the last ended.
Annika screams, Jade runs back to show me the way. I find Annika sitting at the edge of a forgotten garden. “I didn’t know this was back here.” Jade squeals. “You were right it’s here.”
The legends were true. I knew they were I was here when it was planted before Annika was born. It had slipped from Jade’s memory over the years, but this garden once held beauty filled with flowers and vegetables. Their mother and I had built that garden.
Jade pulled weeds with excitement; Annika close behind filling her purse with rocks and beetles. Wildflowers had grown in, but a few of the roses their mother had planted were in full bloom.
We cleared the garden restoring it and sat to admire our work.
“Can we come back?” Jade asked.
“Of course, we can.” I replied.
“Even, when you go back to work?”
As we returned home, I thought of the beautiful moments I had been able to spend with my daughters since the isolation. Jade had grown up so quickly in a few short years. We were returning from the hospital with Annika only yesterday, I thought.
Life gets busy, I lose time and patience. Meanwhile my children grow. I shoulder my saw and commit to return to our garden. I will make time for my children and wife. This is the most important responsibility I have.
“Yes Jade, even wen I go back to work.”