by Tara Lazar
She went down to the lake to skip rocks, but returned with a noisy bullfrog in a bucket, spotted with mud and moss, comfortably nestled into a bed of water-lily leaves: "Look ma, can we keep him?" She loves all the dirty animals - earthworms, spiders, and those bugs that teem under rocks. What happened to princesses and pink? How can a five-year-old be so defiant, kicking and screaming if I even suggest she wear a dress and mary janes to church? They stare at me as if I don't know how to dress her, and I do, but she will have no part of it: green shirts, orange pants; plain denim overalls; clunky brown boots, her favorite, the color of mudpies. "Yes, honey, you can keep him," I say, aware that he will escape his bucket home within a few hours, leaving her in tears.
Tara Lazar, author of Posthumously Yours, hosts Motherhood Monday, a weekly fiction-writing blog meme. Find out more at Anonymom.