Dream Chaser

05-20 Trees Lake

We hike the rocky trail circling the lake.  Tall pines, gentle breeze, and birds soaring above set the perfect peaceful scene.  I’d like to sprawl out on a rock, in a warm patch of sun, and eavesdrop on the woods surrounding us.  I’d like to hear the chipmunk I spotted scurry across the crunchy pine needles.  There is no opportunity to rest in silence, though.  My companion has too much to say.

He tells me about his latest business idea.  Oh, there have been many.  This time, it’s a restaurant:  Little Bean’s is the name.  He can’t tell me where this restaurant will be but insists it will have “yummy” food.  He says there will be a bar area that serves bowls of beef jerky- for free.  Then he describes the dessert that will make his restaurant famous.

This dessert begins with two brownies, each three inches by two inches (I kid you not.)  Atop the brownies, sits a scoop of vanilla ice cream, smothered with chocolate and caramel sauce.  Oh, and several maraschino cherries.  He loves those.  He circles his hands to show me the plate size and declares that it will only cost $2.99.  “Is that a good price?” he asks.

I’m not business-minded, but I agree the price is reasonable.  “As long as you don’t spend more for the ingredients than what you charge,” I warn.  Sometimes these details escape him.  I imagine not many seven-year-olds contemplate profit when thinking of a business plan.  There’s time for that in second grade, I suppose.

To him, monkey bars and swings are pedantic.  So last year, he would say.  Pickles has his mind on bigger plans, his head immersed in dreams.  He tries to take his Mommy with him, but I am tangled in a lifetime of realism.  From his side of the dream, it looks like cynicism.

I hold his hand, but let him go.  I remind myself:  a dream can never be caught while standing still.


TrifectaPicture11-1This is my response to Trifecta’s writing prompt.  I’ve categorized this as fiction, however, it is based on a lengthy (and rather one-sided) conversation with my seven-year-old, who we affectionately call, “Pickles.”  This week, we were asked to write a 33 to 333 word response (mine is 329) using the following word/definition:

PEDANTIC (adjective): unimaginative, pedestrian

If you want to read other responses, or try the challenge yourself, click on the tricycle picture to view Trifecta’s site.  Happy writing (and reading!)

P.S. This prompt didn’t work with where I’m going with Darlene’s Story.  I hope to have another segment next time 🙂

Oh, and this is a community-voted challenge, which means that readers have the opportunity to vote on their three favorites.  Voting starts on Trifecta’s site after the challenge closes on Thursday, at 8PM eastern time.


56 thoughts on “Dream Chaser

  1. Widdershins May 20, 2013 / 8:35 PM

    Heh, heh, that profit margin thingy is a killer!

    • jannatwrites May 20, 2013 / 11:07 PM

      Minor, but oh-so-important detail, Widdershins 🙂

  2. Draug419 May 20, 2013 / 9:03 PM

    I can’t wait to try some $3 brownie treat at your son’s restaurant (:

  3. yarnspinnerr May 20, 2013 / 10:10 PM

    Hope I could have some of that dessert now 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 20, 2013 / 11:09 PM

      That would be nice, Yarnspinnerr. I’ll be curious if this dream sticks, or if he finds another one along the way 🙂

  4. Diane Turner May 21, 2013 / 1:31 AM

    A dream can never be caught while standing still…
    Love that line. It’s the ending of your story, but oh its possibilities.
    Excellent piece. Thanks for sharing.

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 7:21 AM

      Thanks so much for reading, Diane! It is an open-ended story…and so is Pickles’ life…we’ll know more in twenty years or so 🙂

  5. Kir Piccini May 21, 2013 / 5:05 AM

    this is just beautiful, one of my favorite things I’ve read this week so far.
    Pickles, I think that is a wonderful name for a restaurant and a dream chaser.

    I loved this.

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 7:22 AM

      What a nice thing to write, Kir – thank you. He’s stuck on “Little Bean’s” for the restaurant name…though I have no idea where he got that. Maybe Pickles will grow on him, though!

  6. nrhatch May 21, 2013 / 5:47 AM

    Beautiful reflection, Janna. I love your son’s nickname . . . my last post ended with the word “pickle.” 😉

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 7:23 AM

      I’ll have to look at that – that’s kind of funny, Nancy! Thanks for reading my sort of fiction piece about a hike with Pickles 🙂

  7. chlost May 21, 2013 / 6:02 AM

    Kir is right. Pickles would be a great name for the restaurant.
    Love this, I felt as though I was walking along the trail with you. This is the type of setting that these types of conversations happen with our children. Perfect description of how that happens. I also loved your description of wanting to “eavesdrop on the woods around us.” I often have that feeling….to just be able to quietly listen to all that is happening.
    Your son is going to be a bigwig somehow, somewhere, someday!

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 7:28 AM

      I’m so glad it took you there – I was hoping that would happen as others read it.

      Pickles talks. Alot. A couple hikes ago, he paired up with my husband and talked for nearly two hours about how they were going to rent an ATV and a canoe and it would just be the two of them for the day. My husband jokingly asked if Pickles had an off button…the answer is no 🙂

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Chlost. Hope you have a beautiful week. (I hope to read your ‘green’ post tonight…I’m behind…as usual!)

  8. Varsha May 21, 2013 / 10:21 AM

    Oh, I love this. Kids are wonderful with their little stories and ideas. My little brother wants to open a restaurant that solely serves food made of soya chunks. He even has a soya chunk dessert planned. Beautiful, beautiful post. I love how kids make us realize that “we are tangled in a lifetime of realism” and encourage us to leave it behind just for a mo.

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 6:57 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Varsha! My little Pickles has lots of ideas and talks ALL the time! That’s funny that your brother has ideas for a restaurant, too. Maybe these kids can get our feet off the ground and heads in the clouds at least for a bit 🙂 Thanks so much for taking time to read it and share your comment.

  9. diannegray May 21, 2013 / 1:43 PM

    You had me going there for a minute, Janna and when I read it was Pickles talking I laughed! What a brilliant story (and I’ll eat his chocolate brownie creation any day!) 😀

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 6:58 PM

      I had hoped that it wouldn’t be obvious that it was a child. I’m glad you went along with it, Dianne! I’d eat that dessert too. Gosh, I hope he doesn’t start practicing at home because I’ll gain fifty pounds taste testing 🙂 (I have zero self control when it comes to chocolate.)

  10. Debbie May 21, 2013 / 3:29 PM

    I love this one, Janna — reminds me of the many conversations I had with my own son when he was that age. Trust me, the time flies, too, so enjoy every minute of it. Shared hopes and dreams often have a way of coming true!

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 7:00 PM

      Great timing for reminiscing, Debbie (I saw you have a post up about your son’s commencement ceremony.) It is sad how fast they grow up (it still happens fast even though some days seem so looooong!)

  11. Eric Alagan May 21, 2013 / 5:09 PM

    Pickles is a biz magnet in the making – love this little sharing 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 7:02 PM

      I appreciate you reading, Eric. He’s a charmer. He once tied pieces of grass into knots and tried to sell them to people in the grocery store line we were waiting in….a lady gave him a dollar!

  12. steph May 21, 2013 / 6:49 PM

    I love this, Janna. I love the tone, the description, and when you reveal your business guy is seven – that made me smile. I’m still smiling. So nicely written. One of my favorites so far.

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 7:03 PM

      I’m so glad his age wasn’t obvious until the end. There were a few words I used (that are actually his words) that I thought might give it away. I’m smiling because you enjoyed the story – thanks for taking the time to read and share your reaction 🙂

  13. Imelda May 21, 2013 / 9:34 PM

    How nice to hear your son’s dreams. AT least, he already has ‘definite’ plans about what he wants to be. Some of his age have none yet. 🙂 He reminds me of my own son – he wanted to turn our house into a diner and assigned each f us family members a duty. I think I would be the cook, or the dishwasher, his younger brother would be the bus boy. 🙂 But this plan was two years old. He has moved on to other things.

    I wonder what your son will come up with next. 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 9:42 PM

      I guess it’s a definite as things can be at seven 🙂 Last month, he told me he was going to be on a TV show when he turned 16. Pickles and his older brother did a few skits (like a pilot) for the show he called “Mason and Jason.”

      I like how your son gave everyone jobs. That’s too cute! I’m glad you stopped by, Imelda 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2013 / 10:22 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, September Dreams 🙂

  14. Valerie May 22, 2013 / 7:46 AM

    “To him, monkey bars and swings are pedantic. So last year, he would say. Pickles has his mind on bigger plans, his head immersed in dreams. He tries to take his Mommy with him, but I am tangled in a lifetime of realism. From his side of the dream, it looks like cynicism.

    I hold his hand, but let him go. I remind myself: a dream can never be caught while standing still.”

    That’s one of the keys to being an excellent parent, I truly believe! My daughter dreamed of being a garbage collector at that age. I’m not sure why, but she saw it as an exciting career possibility. I didn’t let my cynicism get in the way either-but told her to be the best garbage collector on earth. Now, almost ready for college-she dreams of being an archaeologist. I love the similarities in those two dreams of hers:)

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2013 / 10:54 PM

      Funny you should mention about your daughter’s early ambitions (and it is funny because archaeology does have similarities) – my older son wants to work at WalMart and be a History teacher. I suggested he might pick one and he said he was going to do both. We’ll see how that turns out. (Months ago- before the restaurant- Pickles wanted to be a firefighter and race car driver.)

      Thanks for reading and sharing how it relates to your experience with parenting, Valerie!

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2013 / 11:00 PM

      Thanks, Bjorn! I appreciate you reading it and sharing your thoughts.

  15. Rog Rites (@RogRites) May 22, 2013 / 4:59 PM

    The gems that come from kids – this triggers a wealth of similar thoughts. Lovely..

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2013 / 11:09 PM

      Their perspective continually reminds me of how cynical I can be (and I didn’t think I was that way at all!) Thanks for reading, Rog Rites.

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2013 / 11:11 PM

      Great summation of it, Jester Queen. Sometimes it’s the adult understanding that puts the brakes on dreams.

  16. trifectawriting May 22, 2013 / 11:35 PM

    This is so sweet. You’ve perfectly captured that childhood enthusiasm. Sounds like you’ve got an amazing kid on your hands (assuming this is non-fiction). My son wants to be a diver. He also refuses to take swim lessons. 😉

    • jannatwrites May 23, 2013 / 9:36 PM

      It is mostly true. The details about the restaurant name, jerky served in the bar, brownie size, and dessert price are 100% Pickles. That’s funny that your son won’t take swim lessons…it just might help!

  17. Ann Bennett (@AnnBennett12) May 23, 2013 / 6:27 PM

    I wondered about your businessman until I read about the 3 by 2 inch brownies. Such details from a small guy. You know we all have to have dreams, if we don’t I think we die inside.

    • jannatwrites May 23, 2013 / 9:38 PM

      Oh, he’s into details, Ann. A couple weeks ago, he talked his daddy’s ear off about what they were going to do when they rented an ATV. A full two hours! I agree that we all have dreams, but not everyone is courageous enough to make them happen.

  18. Lance May 23, 2013 / 6:39 PM

    This is great. It reminds me of taking my kids to the park and they make up their own worlds and games…etc

    I miss Darlene but this is well done

    • jannatwrites May 23, 2013 / 9:39 PM

      Kids do have vivid imaginations. And mine like to talk. A lot. There is no peaceful pondering when they are around 🙂

      Sorry about Darlene’s absence. I’ll see if maybe I can make the next prompt work. Thanks for reading, anyway, Lance!

  19. Renada Styles May 23, 2013 / 9:00 PM

    i remember conjuring such ideas as child. my brothers and i would plan for hours, haha.
    the last line, though, cinches this piece

    • jannatwrites May 23, 2013 / 9:41 PM

      I’m glad it brought back memories, Renada. The last line is something I want to remember as my boys figure out their dreams.

  20. BCIJo (aka Joanne Edith) May 24, 2013 / 4:19 AM

    It seems that a walk in the woods is a theme that has crept into several entries this week. I love it, and I love the last line.

    • jannatwrites May 27, 2013 / 8:52 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Joanne! I had good inspiration for this – and yes, a walk in the woods did show up a few times this week. I’m not sure why- nothing pedantic about that!

  21. lena de almeida May 27, 2013 / 8:46 AM

    I love kids like this! The non-stop chatter may be hard on the parents sometimes but it’s fascinating to get a glimpse of their world and dreams. Your writing is beautiful, thanks for sharing this story.

    • jannatwrites May 27, 2013 / 8:53 PM

      You are right – the child will talk everyone’s ears off, but he prompts lots of laughter from adults! Thanks so much for taking time to read the story and share your comment.

  22. Maggie Grace May 27, 2013 / 10:36 AM

    Congratulations on your win! Such a wonderful and enchanting and loving story ♥ Am afraid I didn’t read much and hadn’t entered this competition. Was catching up from vacation. I always enjoy reading your entries.

    • jannatwrites May 27, 2013 / 8:55 PM

      I appreciate you talking time to read this story, Maggie! I know what you mean about trying to catch up after time away. Good luck 🙂

  23. pattisj May 28, 2013 / 11:23 PM

    I love that Pickles has dreams. I’ll come and have dessert at his restaurant!

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2013 / 12:34 AM

      I did find out that the restaurant will be in Arkansas, Patti. (My older son has been obsessed with Arkansas for over a year now and is convinced he’s moving there when he grows up. He’s got it all worked out for little brother to come live with him…rather ironic considering they fight 24/7 :))

  24. Neetika May 31, 2013 / 6:28 AM

    This was just beautiful Janna!! I loved the last line so much that I’m going to put it up at my workstation. And congrats for a very well deserved win 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 31, 2013 / 10:08 AM

      Thanks so much Neetika! I’m glad you liked that line so much, that’s a huge compliment 🙂

  25. Sandra May 31, 2013 / 1:14 PM

    I love this piece! Both for its “moment” and for that last sentence. It’s a beautiful juxtaposition of hindsight versus foresight. Pros and cons to both, but more importantly, this is probably a moment that the both of you will always remember. I do hope he opens his restaurant one day so I can enjoy that awesome dessert he described for $3! 🙂 Oh, and I just looked above and saw that you won this challenge? Congrats–this is definitely a winner!

    • jannatwrites June 2, 2013 / 9:54 PM

      Well, I tied for third, but I still consider that a win because at least someone liked it enough to vote 🙂 Thanks for reading this one, Sandra – it was more truth than fiction, so of course I hold it close to my heart. Time will tell if he will follow this dream, or catch the tail of another!

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