The Arctic Green
Diane French, Ventura, California
Things will not always be so, but for the sweet time being, I am the sworn superhero down parka of one Little Boy, who has christened me The Arctic Lime. We go everywhere together. We tunnel through tangled clumps of scratchy manzanita. We butt-sled down waterworn sandstone slides. We lean into sand-peppered coastal gusts and carry on with castle construction. We leap into drifts and hunker down against incoming snowballs. We hike, ride, climb, ski and sled. I play pillow, blanket, handkerchief, napkin—even bed for the dog, who will scratch me roughly into a pile and circle round until she plops heavily down, sometimes emitting a fart so toxic I fear it will melt my nylon shell. But she protects and adores Little Boy, and so I adore her.
Our wild, rambling days would exhaust lesser garments, but I endure, standing vigil when things go wrong. Elbows knocked, knees grated, feelings wounded. Then Little Boy retreats, turtle-like, pulling me close around him. Refuge is a feature not noted on my hangtag, but never am I more proud than when he drops off to sleep and snores loudly into my silky lining.
But lately there are troubling signs. Other clothes have begun to appear in the closet with an ‘S’ on their tags, not the ‘XS’ that I bear. His wrists poke out from my cuffs ever so slightly these days, a glimpse of skin between sleeve and glove that I quickly stretch to conceal before Mom comes sweeping in. But in my feathery heart, I know he is growing, and soon a different name will join his on my Hand-Me-Down tag. I will become protector of another Small One and he, not-so-Little Boy, will move on with a slightly larger compadre for his slightly larger endeavors.
Such is the calling of intrepid Parkas of the Pint-Sized. These “pinnacle” high alpine shells think they’re so tough, scampering up summits. Paaah! Can they handle mudpie drippings, boogers, dog drool, leaking honey sticks, string cheese ends? Can they absorb the tears of the over-tired, the hungry, the scraped, the beginner, the last-place finisher, or the teased? Could they be outgrown and handed down, and be ready to love again?
Dedicated Defender of the Tough but Tender! Unwavering Friend of the Grubby, the Grouchy and the Giggling!
I am The Arctic Lime.
-The Arctic Lime
Model: VW T3 Joker
Location: Bavarian Alps, Germany
Photo: Foster Huntington
Custom 14k rose gold wedding bands with black diamonds