It was David’s idea to drive to the foothills last weekend when his sister, Anne, was visiting.

We thought that we could maybe escape the terrible allergies we were all fighting if we traveled to a higher elevation. And for a little while, anyway, we did feel better. It was working, we thought.

But then we took a mile-long hike through knee-high grass and wildflowers. Alice held up well for an impressive 30 minutes before she wanted to be carried. Not on her dad’s shoulders. Not piggy back. But on my left hip. A lump. 30 pounds of drowsy toddler.

“Hey, Alice, can you hold yourself up nice and straight for me?”

“No, Mommy.”

Honestly, though. She’s the greatest.

She chased families of geese along the shoreline and spotted wildflowers.

“A purple one!”

“A yellow one!”

Pardee Reservoir isn’t far from the place where the three of us took Alice for her first swim almost two years ago.

This time, she could say, “Anne.” It comes out “Eeen.”

“No, Eeen! No silly faces!” she scolded all weekend long.

Even now, three days later, she shakes her head and tells me very seriously, “Eeen make silly faces.” And then she sticks out her tongue.


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