“Blair, stay out of trouble.”
“I always do, Nana,” Blair said back as she rushed out the backdoor of her grandmother’s house to play in the garden.
It wasn’t a traditional garden. Even at five years old, Blair understood that.
No, Nana had beautiful flowers that most had never seen or heard of. She had herbs and spices that she was always mixing in foods and jars, doing things she told Blair she would learn about someday. And she had food in the garden too. Lots and lots of vegetables. Blair went running over there to check on them first.
Nana told her she could pick out the vegetables for their salad tonight. Daddy was away for the night and Blair loved spending time with her Nana. Really the only woman in her life.
As she made her way through the rows of cucumbers and peppers, tomatoes and zucchini, she heard a noise.
Moving closer, she saw a bird on the dirt, just a small blue one. A blue jay it was, Nana had told her one day. Nana was the smartest woman she knew.
“It’s okay, little birdie. Are you hungry?” she asked, assuming it was looking for worms just like Blair was looking for her dinner too.
The bird looked up at her, its eyes dark and appearing almost…in pain. Blair wasn’t sure how she knew that, but she just felt it deep inside.
“Are you hurt?” she asked, glancing closer and noticing the wing seemed to be missing some feathers…and tilted at a funny angle.
“Nana will know what to do. You stay right here.” She turned and went running back to the house. “Nana! Nana!”
“What’s wrong, Blair?” her grandmother asked her as she came rushing out the kitchen door.
“My dream,” she said. “My dream. Remember I told you this morning that a bird was lying on the ground and it looked funny to me.”
“Yes,” her grandmother said. “What about it?”
“It was red in my dream, but it’s blue now.”
Her grandmother looked confused. “What bird?”
“The one in my dream,” Blair said with her hands on her hips. “I mean it was red in my dream, but it’s blue in the garden.” She grabbed her grandmother’s hand. “Follow me. It’s hurt.”
She raced back to where she’d seen the bird and noticed that it’d moved and wasn’t there where she’d left it. “Blair. I’m baking. I need to get back inside.”
“There was a bird here. I know there was. It was hurt.” She was moving around, looking. “Here. It’s right here. Look at it.”
Her grandmother looked over the bush and saw the blue jay lying on the ground and moved closer to it, only to have it lift its wings and fly away. “It doesn’t look hurt to me. I bet it was just sunning itself.”
“Like getting a tan?” Blair asked.
Her grandmother laughed. “I guess you could say that. Some birds do that. But it’s fine. You saw that.”
“Why did I dream it was hurt though?”
“Do you know it was hurt in your dream?”
“No. It was just lying on the ground, but I thought birds only sat in a nest or flew.”
“Well, now you know otherwise.”
“Okay. At least I know that not all parts of my dreams always come true like I told you. Just little bits and pieces.”
Her grandmother sighed like she had in the past. Just like her father did too when she would tell him she’d have dreams and pieces would come true.
“Blair, you really shouldn’t tell too many people about these dreams. It’s okay to say it to your father and me, but I hope you don’t tell anyone else.”
“But it’s cool when they come true. Except when they are sad. Then I don’t want them to come true.”
“Do they always?” her grandmother asked. “Or just sometimes?”
“Just sometimes. But when I wake up I know if it will come true or if it was just something funny or what I watched on TV.”
Her grandmother put her hand on her shoulder and squeezed. “Just keep them to your father and me or yourself, okay.”
“Why?” Blair asked.
“Because people will look at you funny. They will judge you. You don’t want that, do you?”
“You mean like they judge Daddy.”
Her grandmother’s shoulders dropped. “What do you hear about your father?”
“That he’s never been with a lady. That he likes men.”
Nana’s chest heaved in and out. “You’re too young for this conversation, but it’s one Daddy should have with you. All you need to know is everyone is different, but that doesn’t mean they love people any less.”
“Just like me being different because I see things in dreams and they sometimes come true?”
Her grandmother laughed. “Yes, Blair, just like that. Go pick out your vegetables for dinner. I’m sure this batch of cookies is more than burnt right now so I need to get some more in the oven.”
“For not saying I’m being silly. Daddy doesn’t say it either, but I’ve had other friends tell me that.”
“And now you know why you should sometimes keep those dreams of yours to yourself.”