This is the story of a girl and her quest for her holy grail: a pair of white Converse. I, her trusty companion and financial backing, and Little Man, our comic relief, set out on our adventure today.
We knew we needed to travel beyond the borders of this little town, which is severely lacking in Converse, and has not sighted the elusive white Converse in many a year. So we headed an hour and a half away toward a place called, fittingly, Journeys.
Our own journey was not a smooth one to start. It was raining and hard to see. “This not weather for winter,” the girl said. “In my country, snow. What this rain? Tsk. America.”
Temporarily sidetracked, we got caught in a mythical place called Wendy’s, which was declared to be “good” and better than McDonalds. This Wendy’s was so good, in fact, that it was requested again a few hours later. But thankfully the ever-increasing lightness of my wallet helped us resist this siren call and continue on our quest.
Arriving at the mall meant a series of mini-adventures on our way to our destination. I must really love this girl to join her on this venture on the Saturday before Christmas.
Our treasure obtained, it was time for a reward:
Eastern European Review: “It children’s movie. True love, blah, blah, blah. I love my sister, blah, blah, blah. Funny snowman. The end.” But this trusty companion caught your silvery laugh above the crowd, my dear girl, and the flickering images on the screen revealed your huge smile to me every time I looked at you. Your teenage mask is no match for one who loves your beautiful soul.
And of course, such a quest would not be complete without a final feast fit for such an adventure, ordered at the oasis of Sheetz yumminess. She cannot say the name of this place in her accent without giggling at how inappropriate it sounds…which sort of makes me want to suggest it all the time.
The quest complete, we traveled home, with feet the same, yet changed.
But of course, as I always tell my students, a quest is never simply a quest for the coveted item. It is always about something more, usually some kind of self-knowledge.
So what did we discover on this journey?
We learned that we trust one another more than might seem possible in a week. Sunshine revealed more of herself to me. Private details that I reciprocated with some of my own. Fears she has about returning home. People she has loved. Things she hopes for.
We learned that this heroic girl and the boy who is our comic relief have a lot in common and bonding together against me can be fun. Truly they are finding their stride as siblings.
We learned that we can whine and tease and cajole without bounds. We are family. Every day we become more so.
And in this mundane adventure, we found more to love and more to miss about one another.