Wisdom of Children


Young kids learn soon enough that the goldfish dies. Even in seemingly safe homes with two parents, siblings, friends down the block, sidewalks and plenty of everything. The goldfish dies.

I remember heart-shaped SweeTARTS. They appeared on Valentine’s Day in red paper heart packets we grade school kids made in Miss Moody’s class. That cute boy, Steve, his wavy blond hair the perfect mane for a young lion, is the one I had an eye on. Me and every other little girl in class.

In the end, it was usually sweet, awkward Paul who thrust a red packet at me and ran away, face red as the construction paper envelope. Still, I peered at the contents as though they were runes. “Hug me.” “My baby.” “Let’s kiss.” “Real Love.” My own heart went into exotic syncopated rhythm. At eight years old, it was the gift — not the giver.

One bite, though, and I was brought back into third-grade reality. Looks sweet. Tastes sour. Sweet. Tart. Appearances deceive. Important life lesson learned.

WordPress Daily Word Prompt: TART

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