Like seven-league boots


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Like seven-league boots

Mom couldn't take it anymore. Four years had passed since the birth of the twins. She was tired, she had acquired habits that would have seemed inconceivable to her before. Her personal presentation had suffered greatly, and she had also acquired the habit of thinking as if she were four years old herself. At night she would fall asleep as soon as she put her head on the pillow, but the slightest noise would awaken her, alert, as if there were always some great danger lurking around her.

That day Mom woke up thinking how nice it would be to be able to go to the hairdresser's to throw away the rubber bands she used to do her hair with, always in the same boring way. Mom wanted to sleep alone at home, no noise, no crying... Mom wanted to read a book and listen to music for a long time.

" Honey, tomorrow I'll take the kids at eight o'clock and drop them off."

Rick didn't know Mom was talking to Dad about taking them to kindergarten. He also didn't get to hear the part where Dad replied that he would pick them up to come home. Rick only understood that Mom would drop them off. Rick was very little and didn't know how the world worked.

So when, after telling them good night stories, mom explained that they were going out very early to a very nice place, that they would both be wearing new clothes and shoes, Rick didn't protest or ask any questions. He thought of himself as a big boy.

Actually of the two twins Rick was the shorter one. He always heard it said that he was more like his mother and that his twin Paul was, being taller and stouter, more like his father. But despite being the smallest Rick had taken the role of big brother to heart. Paul would come to him for explanations of anything and Rick understood that he should always protect his brother.

When mom turned out the light Rick said to Paul:

"Don't worry about mom leaving us tomorrow, brother. I'll find a way for us to get back home."

The morning started out great. Mom packed lunch boxes with the brothers' favorite cereal and fruit. She dressed them in new clothes and socks and shod them with beautifully colored shoes.

After tying the braids the mother proudly asked them.

"How about the new shoes?"

Rick stood up and his face filled with amazement. They were the softest shoes he had ever worn! Rick felt like he was floating on clouds. He also felt taller, he thought for a moment he felt like a seven year old.

From amazement Rick moved to action. He took a first step, then two, evaluating....

Rick felt like running mounted on his shoes, as he shouted to his brother.

"Run, Paul, run, these shoes are too fast!"

The two brothers ran down the hallway, Paul proved it was true that there was something magical about those shoes. He felt like being out in the street, running in a park, jumping on the trampoline to test how high he could go. Rick, who was a little worried about the words he had heard from his mother, now felt that with those shoes he could face the greatest adventures.'

On the way to school the mother felt the need to take them both by the hand.

In front of the school the teachers were waiting for them.

Mom kissed them goodbye. She stood in front of her children and said the words mothers always say to their children.

"Be good!"

And she added:

"Your father will pick you up to take you home."

Rick felt some disappointment.

"He'll pick us up to take us home? But we could go back by ourselves! Can we, please?"

Mom looked at Rick in amazement.

"Can't they ever go back alone! You must always wait for daddy! she told them sternly.

"Did you understand, Paul, did you understand, Rik?"

The children nodded. Rick, who was always in the lead, said to her sadly.

"It's just that I wanted to test if these shoes work like the seven-league boots!" he said.

Mom handed her children over. Standing on the sidewalk she watched them enter the kindergarten. She imagined them marveling at the playground equipment, at the planets hanging from the ceilings.

"They'll be fine," she thought.

Her desire to go to the hairdresser's disappeared. Her mood changed.

A lump formed in her throat.




Thank you for reading

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@gracielaacevedo

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