Once upon a time there was a little girl.
The girl had a sister three years younger than herself. The sister and the girl both had two younger brothers, two loving parents, one house, one good dog, two very active imaginations, and two "diamond" bracelets.
The good dog really isn't in this story.
After school the mother would often let the two girls take their younger brother to the park while she put the youngest brother down for a nap. The park was just down the street and marked the halfway point between their house and their cousins' house.
The girls knew every inch of that park. They often hauled whatever gear they needed for their imaginative games along in a wagon. They built tee-pees under the trees. They created elaborate sand castle systems in the volley-ball court. They often brought the bracelets along.
The bracelets were part of a game that involved aliens (of which the girls were long-lost princesses, of course). The "diamonds" in each one had special powers which often came in handy. They could call for help when strange kids attempted to bully the girls. They could call the girls home. They could provide sandwiches if they got hungry for a snack. Like I said, they were handy.
A girl had only to place her bracelet on her wrist, looked sternly at the point of interest (i.e. the bully's eyes, distant space, empty plate, etc) and command the following in clear, decisive tones while making a secret hand gesture unique to each girl. "POWER ACTIVATED NOW. UP. OUT"
Worked every time.
The older girl was me.
I was thinking of those bracelets a lot this week.
When I couldn't get a hold of my little sister and was shoving away burgeoning worry I wished I could contact her by alien telepathic abilities.
Instead I used Facebook.
When I got a cold I wished for the diamonds' healing powers.
Zicam came to my rescue.
When I missed my two older babies (who are at Nana's) I wished I could power up my bracelet and teleport to where they are for a minute and hug their little bodies before whooshing back home to finish my project.
Reports over the phone will have to do.
When I suffered the loss of an hour this morning to daylight savings time I wished I could plug into some super power to recharge my batteries.
Imagine... One minute: DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME HOUR REGENERATION MODE IS A GO. WAKING POWER DEACTIVATED. DOWN. OUT. The next: MAMA ALPHA HERE. REGENERATION WAS SUCCESSFUL. POWER ACTIVATED NOW. UP. OUT.
I lost another hour to a nap when that didn't work.
Lastly, When I was hungry I whispered the magic words.
I had to get a sandwich myself.
Alas, my home planet seems to have forgotten me and my alien sister no longer dwells close enough to come skipping every time my imagination needs exercise. That house was sold years ago and the dog is long dead. I've realised that the snacks were thanks to my mother's magical powers more than anything... the bully's ran because we looked them in the eyes without fear and then totally freaked them out by our strange gesturing...
All those questioning looks from strangers? Maybe they weren't because we were aliens, maybe those were the direct result of clothespinning sheets to the park trees and shrieking native American war cries as we pounded our chests and danced around an invisible fire in the pit we'd dug out of the pristine park lawn...
No, that can't be it... It was definitely because we were obviously from another planet!
The bracelets lie languishing in the dress-up closet. Their sparkle is fading and I can't help but notice how the silver is flaking away. Like most things in this life they seem to be a passing glory.
A glory that was real enough on one Summer's day. Two little girls. One tag-along little brother. One park. And a dog who, however good, doesn't belong in this story.
Still A Bit Alien in NE