The day we brought Penny home was a holiday. I can’t recall exactly if it was Good Friday or Black Saturday but it was one of these two because we had such a difficult time finding a place to have lunch before proceeding to my cousin’s house to pick up the puppy. Because Sam is vegetarian, it was twice as hard. Finding a restaurant that serves dishes for omnivores and vegetarians is hard enough; during Lent when most establishments are closed, it’s almost impossible. We ended up at Shakey’s which, fortunately, serves meaty and meatless pizza. And mojo potatoes which we all love.
I’m not sure when exactly Sam saw the balloon hawker. I remember that I wanted to step out for a smoke after lunch and Sam went with me. Whether she went with me because she had already seen the balloon hawker through the glass windows or she saw the hawker after we stepped out, I can’t remember. I do remember that, once outside, Sam saw the Nemo and Olaf balloons and started her “Please, please, please” line. When Sam gets into that kind of mood, you have to declare war to keep her still. I wasn’t in the mood for war; in fact, I wanted to buy them balloons. Why not? They may be past their teens but they still love things that remind them of their childhood.
Sam loves Nemo and she had already declared that was what she was going to have. How she figured out that Alex wanted an Olaf balloon, I have no idea. The sisters have been so in sync the past nine months that I sometimes feel that I’m living in a dream. After years of fighting about anything and everything they could disagree on, they are finally back to how they were as toddlers — thick as thieves, as the saying goes, and always on the lookout for anything that the other might like.
So, I bought them the balloons. And, yes, Sam made the right choice with Olaf — it’s plainly written all over Alex’s face.
About four months later, Alex came home from the first (or was it the second?) leg of the Mindanao segment of the national tour that’s she’s on with a Nemo stuffed toy for Sam. She hand-carried it, she said, so it wouldn’t get squished with her luggage. I don’t know who was happier — Sam for the unexpected gift or Alex in seeing the joy on Sam’s face.
Ah, life is good. And it just keeps getting better.