These Are The Days

Somewhere in Karlovy Vary © Google Maps

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.

149 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

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.



  1. Splendid story, Karen. I agree very much with the sentiment. Really capture it well

    1. 🙂 I know you know. Glad you liked it!

  2. There is a lightness in this story that is appealing and in contrast to that spirited girl, taking on the world, and succeeding. Brought a smile and a tear to my eye, Karen. Thank you. thank you.

    1. Aw, thanks Kelvin. I’m so gratified to read this! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Interesting interpretation of the prompt. I like that you used local names to give a sense of location.

  4. Dale

    I am so like Eliška! Ok… WAS. Some kids are fearless, aren’t they?
    I loved this, Karen. As a mother, we get to feel those wonderful days over and over, don’t we? Till they become teenagers and detestable little beings, anyway 😉

    1. Laughing out loud at your teenager remark. Oh boy, can I relate! Thanks for reading 🙂

      1. Dale

        How such sweet little beings could turn into…
        well, you know. I hear they turn back to humans in their twenties… I’ve one turning 20 next month. Fingers crossed! LOL

      2. Yes, it worked on our 22-year-old. 🙂

      3. Dale

        Good to know😉 all jokes aside at 18and almost 20, they’re pretty good.

  5. Ah yes. These are the days, indeed. My two-year old daughter is a mix of both girls, fearlessly climbing onto high tables, terrified of tiny spiders. Sometimes, she’s annoying, like the way she pulled on my arm while I was trying to write. Later she does something incredibly cute. These are the days.

    Loved the story. I enjoyed the easy mood of it.

    1. I’m enchanted! What a girl. Those are delightful days indeed.

  6. Oh, that’s lovely, Karen. You show a beautiful lightness of touch. Like Kelvin, the story brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. Wonderful!

    1. Thanks so much Penny 🙂

  7. I enjoyed the contrast between the girls, one looking forward, one looking back, like the Norwegian Norns, Urd and Skuld. And Mom, in the middle saying, “Live in the moment.” Beautifully done.

    1. I’m not familiar with the Norns but that’s exactly what I was going for. I was worried I muddied it up but am gratified to read your response. Thanks so much, Lish!

  8. Yet another fine tribute to the inexorable effects of time.

    1. Thanks so much, Larry 🙂

  9. Beautiful Karen. As others have said, a lovely contrast between the sisters and Mum trying to hold on to it all. A clear sketch of all three characters and deftly done.
    I wish I could replay moments from when my son was small, to actually feel those moments again, rather than seeing them at a distance, knowing they happened but unable to relive them properly. Good to know teenagers become human again – I’ll look forward to that! 🙂

    1. It has been said those teenagers become human again! Thanks so much for your kind words.

      1. Fingers crossed! My pleasure

  10. […] but after being MIA for the past two weeks, I’m happy to have made it. 😉 Many thanks to Karen and Josh for their dedication to their growing challenge. I’m pleased to announce that […]

  11. Dear Karen,

    This brought back memories of my boys setting up ramps for jumping their bicycles. I used to watch in horror, imagining ER’s and broken bones. Our kids are so different from each other. Love the Slavic terms and the mother’s heart you so beautifully bring to life.



    1. Thanks so much, Rochelle. I imagine those memories are pretty sweet now, even though they were riddled with fears at the time! Hopefully your boys have outgrown their daredevil ways.

      1. As mothers we never really stop worrying about them, do we? Happily, all three of mine have grown into intelligent and responsible (mostly) young men.

  12. Live in the Now! It’s funny how siblings can be so different.

    1. That is true. Thanks for reading!

  13. Getting older is proving to me that “these” are the days. Right now, no matter what-good or not so great- going on…hold on and love the moment.

    1. Learning this myself! Thanks so much for reading and commenting Scott!

  14. I very much like the way you capture the moment, both philosophical and transient, and sense of place. The mood feels tender, and prescient. Well done.

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