There was to be a dance recital. Her aunt and cousins were coming for a visit and she'd told us, early in the morning, that she was preparing something special. It was all very hush, hush; the sort of thing that lives in the background of your day when you're a parent.
When she called us into the downstairs living room late in the evening, I grabbed my camera more as a reflex than an actual intent. The room would be too dark to do anything interesting anyway. But then I saw her: all dressed up, a pair of scissors in her hand... A cutout paper star dangling from the ceiling. She'd thought about this, poured her little heart into it. I felt so cheap.
She opened by cutting the string and as the star fell she twirled, and twirled, her dress flowing about her. For three minutes she twirled, slipping, sliding... Then the music died and she bowed, and we applauded.
To think I could've missed it. Too lazy and blasé to pick up the camera, I would've left the moment to dissolve into the flux, to fade as everything fades.
I could've missed it.
nd we would've forgotten that falling star.