This is Little Red. He was a secret, but now he is sitting on the dashboard of our car and ready to be properly introduced.
One Valentine’s Day more than ten years ago, I was presented with a red plush m and m. He sat on my dresser for a while, and one day, feeling mischievous, I tucked him into Emily’s sock drawer and waited. She didn’t let on, but a few days later, I found him in my shoe. A couple of days later she found him in her backpack. And then I found him dangling by his shoe in my closet. And then she found him under her pillow. We never spoke of him and it became a private joke which provided a great deal of entertainment. Eventually he traveled around the world- attending Denison University, jetting off to Kenya, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Louisiana.
A few weeks ago, Phil and I took Daniel to college, and then drove south to visit Emily where she lives and works as a facilitator with at risk kids and their families. We cooked, shopped, ate, napped, reminisced, laughed, visited Noah in Texas, read, walked and talked. On our last day together while we were eating with friends, Emily got a phone call that one of her clients had gotten himself into serious trouble. Then our car started acting strangely and we took it to the shop. And Emily got called to the office for a meeting on her afternoon off. And we were sad because it was “goodbye” again.
As we drove off the next morning, Phil whispered, “we have another passenger in the car.” And there was Little Red- ever smiling- poking out of the cup holder, extended a wave.
And I thought, let’s hear it for silliness!