Eliška wrested the handlebars away and charged toward the bike path. “I’m going to learn to ride,” she said. “And then I’ll ride everywhere. I’ll ride to school, and to the store, and…”
As her voice faded into the distance, Aneta reached for my hand. “That Eliška,” she said, repeating the oft-said refrain. That Eliška, always charging off into the future.
“Yes, indeed.” I tousled her hair, then looked up the path. By now, Eliška had fallen. She bounded up, brushing off with one hurried hand.
“Are you okay?” I yelled.
She waved. “By tomorrow, I’ll be the fastest rider in the world.”
“Remember when Eliška flew the kite?” Aneta asked.
“I do, kuřátko.”
“Those were the days, weren’t they mámi?” My earnest Aneta, always looking back. My girls, so different. I touched her chin. She tipped her head, smiling.
These are the days, I wanted to tell her.
Sometimes inspiration is hard to find. And sometimes life delivers you these brilliant moments of bottomless gratitude, and all you have are words to tell them, and words are not enough. So you try anyway. And what you wind up with–in this particular case–is this story.