The Outsiders


“Are you going to come outside with me, or stay in the house Dada?” She asked in her typically sweet way, carrying her full water bucket, after pronouncing her intention to “give the flowers a drink.” Although it meant I’d be less comfortable, I couldn’t help but acquiesce to this tender, albeit indirect little request to join her outside. As the setting sun burned in my eyes, and with the annoyingly audible buzz and occasional brush of a bothersome gnat against various parts of my exposed skin, I soon found myself reluctantly plopped down in a wicker patio chair watching as Journey instead decides to make muddy puddles in the grass.

Journey is an outdoor girl to her heart. If she could find a way to live out under the brakes and thickets like the woodland creatures she sometimes pretends to be, she’d do it. Delaney has a similar regard for nature, however Marley does not share their affinity for it. She’d much prefer to remain in her room arranging stickers in her sticker book, or remain busy by making her latest coloring creation – this day is no different. She’s made it painfully clear over the years her aversion to heat and bug bites.


As I watch Journey trudge back and forth from the bathroom sink lugging her water bucket once more through the patio door, committed to her brand of gardening, I can’t help but to chuckle to myself. It’s something about the way she’s almost struggling with this full pale while moving fast, her short quick steps all a blur, makes for quite a scene.

Journey and Delaney are busy now crowding the sidewalk with toys – everything from stuffed animals and tricycles, to skates, scooters, and discarded popsicle sticks. I wish there was more room for them to engage in these playful activities without turning their knickknacks, and themselves, into hurdles and obstacles that our poor neighbors have to navigate as they make their way to and fro. The clutter they’ve created in the tight outdoor space in front of our apartment has been epic at times! Hopefully, at some point someone doesn’t think we are hosting a garage sale – and I certainly hope we never receive a littering complaint from the powers that be.

So here I sit melting in the setting sun, watching my two outdoor girls do their thing. Delaney making it her business to pet every waggly tailed dog on a leash that jaunts by, and Journey, pointing out every bug she sees calling it “her friend”, in an effort to convince herself that she is not afraid of it. Finally she’s had enough of the buzzing, and quickly darts into the house…just another Wednesday evening around our way.


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