“Akela is four years old” by Julia at Mucho Burrito on Queen

Saturday, January 14, 2012 at Mucho Burrito on Queen
5 minutes
Traveling Mercies
Anne Lamott

She had her favourite colour on.
Said it made her feel like a sea princess.
She meant mermaid.
We all smiled anyway.
Dancing around the living room with her pink socks pulled high past her knees.
She was singing happy birthday but she was singing it in Spanish.
We watched from the kitchen as Larry set up the video camera.
Our birthday messages would be filmed later on, after she went to sleep.
Today was her day.
Today she was four.
Ada came running with her tiara toppling off her head.
It was too big but she loved it anyway.
She was ready for her debut.
The camera was rolling.
The magic was getting bigger.
I’m Akela and I’m the queen of the ants! She said.
Then she twirled and we could all swear that sparkles fell from her hair.
I am going to build houses in every city! I’m going to hold meetings for the workers! We are going to be a family!
She twirled again, this time getting her pink socks caught on the rug.
She fell to the ground, skinning her knee on the carpet.
We waited in anticipation.
The camera zoomed in, expectant to catch her expression of birthdays ruined.
Are you okay Ada?
Ada has a sore knee! But not me! I’m Akela and I’m the queen of the ants! I can’t get hurt! I’m the protector!
Once more, smiles behind the lens.