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  • "Mommy, are we there yet?" the boy asks, bouncing on his knees.

    "No, sweetie, we're just resting."

    "But you said we had to get away. How far is that?"

    "Far. I'll let you know when we're there."

    "But why? Why do we have to go far? I'm tired."

    "I know, sweetie. I'm tired too," she says, rubbing at the bruise on her cheek, "But sometimes mommies make bad choices and then we have to go away."

    "Are you going away?" the girl asks, looking fearfully at her mother. Her hair catches sunlight and turns golden like oak leaves in autumn.

    "No, honey, I'm always with you. We'll always be together, until I'm old and tired and you're sick of me."

    Silence fills the glade. In the distance, the sun touches the mountain.

    The boy turns to his mother, snuggling in close. "I'll never be sick of you mommy."

    An errant tear runs down the woman's face, reflecting the valley below.

    "OK, we need to walk. A long way to go yet."

    The girl looks up at her mother. "When we get to away, I'll protect you, mommy."

    "Thank you, honey," the woman says, wiping the tear from her face and taking her children's hands.

    Painting Credit: "What Lies Ahead" 5"x7", watercolor on claybord, ©ElishaDasenbrock2014
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