Published: Feb 2006
The Summer Of Two Thousand And Three
We were best friends in two thousand and three.
She calls me B Bob. I picked that name because it was easy for a little girl to say.
A thousand times she would call to me
In that magic summer of two thousand and three.
Like a new butterfly, her face would change daily, always becoming more beautiful than yesterday. Her eyes grew bluer and her hair was long and curly and sometimes tied into a knot. She and I spent the summer in the swimming pool, playing with a huge turtle floatie and a noodle and Shamu the Whale. We ate pretzels and gummy bears and sweet tarts and drank a lot of ice cold Sprite and threw the ball and squirted the hose and had such a good time. We made believe she was the Little Mermaid. She learned to swim towards the end of the summer, and before long took off her little arm floaters and ventured out into the deep end of the pool. She had finally conquered fear. She would never turn back.
There would be many dangers and dark places and deep ends of the pool in the future. But alas, I would not be holding on, keeping her afloat.
But she was mine to hold to protect and see
in that magic summer of two thousand and three,
We went to her first picture show. It was all about a fish named Nemo who got lost from his family. Cinderella sat in my lap with that look of entrancement only a child can muster. She was still in a trance when we finished our pepperoni pizza.
She would eat pizza and pour me tea.
That was her favorite food in two thousand and three.
She and I had a secret game we played. It had simple rules. I counted her toes and she would giggle a lot. The game was fun to play and we never grew weary of playing it.
She laughed a lot and got chased by a bee,
All in that summer of two thousand and three.
We had gone to a real live rodeo, with cowboys and Indians and spun sugar cones and fireworks and lots of horses and hay mixed with manure to smell and step into. It was a magic time. She was dressed in her cowboy outfit with a red hat and scarf.
But alas, this August I saw her and her mother drive off. I cried and watched until the bumper of the car had disappeared over the hill. I realized that I would never see that special little Cinderella again. I secretly hoped the car would turn into a pumpkin and she would come back. But she disappeared forever.
I would never see her again, you see.
It was the end of the summer of two thousand and three.
Next summer she would be a different person. She would take ballet lessons all winter, so her cute little baby waddle will turn into grace and poise. Her face will have changed. That little girl would never be back. A cute little blond four-year-old young lady that I have never met will take her place.
But to my heart The Little Mermaid holds the key.
And she was mine in that summer of two thousand and three.
She might not want to play the little game with me next summer.