It was so good to be back home again. Lotus is growing like a weed. And Zhan has convinced the local police chief to give him more undercover assignments. I don't even want to know what he's going to be doing today, dressed in those rags.
"Be careful out there today," I always say.
"I'm always careful," he replies, smiling, then he kisses me lightly before heading out for the day.
...until I heard a panicked shout coming from the bathroom.
"What the...?? My hair! Argh, Dilly! Not again!"
I guess this was not the first time Papa had been caught by his granddaughter's pranking. I had a stern talk with her, but I could tell by the gleam in her eye that she was not as penitent as she pretended.
In no time at all, it seemed, it was time for Daffodil's birthday.
Song invited his friend Jenny, but he instead of their usual banter, he seemed all of a sudden nervous and shy. Jenny obviously didn't appreciate the change in him.
"Ahh.. so.. Jenny. Umm.. Would you.. I mean.. Do you want to go to prom with me?"
"Yes, of course I will!"
I'm glad that's settled! I like Jenny, she's such a sweet girl.
"Okay, come on everyone! It's time for the fireworks!"
We had brought a box of fireworks back from China with us, and thought we'd surprise Dilly for her birthday.
Of course, being Dilly, after watching her dad send one off, she had to light the next one herself. Zhan called out instructions.
"Okay, sweetheart, be careful now, just light the first one in line, then move back!"
"Aahhh! I said just one! Why did you light the whole stack? Everyone, move back! Watch out! I don't know what'll happen!"
Dilly just laughed and covered her ears.
I can still see the shocked expression on Zhan's face. I think he thought he had known everything there was to know about fireworks.
Indeed, if we thought that growing up a little would have any positive effect on her pranking ways, we were wrong.
Every few days, there would be a cry from someone, somewhere in the house.
"Argghhh! Dilly! What did you do to the computer?"
Then there'd be a little snicker from some where close by, as Daffodil pretended to be totally engrossed in choosing a book from the bookcase. Looking back, I should have grounded her for it, but hind sight is always better than foresight.
Soon it was prom night, and Daffodil elected to go with her girlfriends.
Song, of course took his sweetheart Jenny. He was very serious about the whole affair, and so proud to walk into the gym with his girlfriend on his arm.
He and Jenny were chosen prom king and queen, and for days he couldn't stop talking about the great time he had. Daffodil, on the other hand, was uncharacteristicly reticent about her prom experience. She'd only say she met someone she liked a lot.
Song had been so wrapped up in Jenny and his prom king duties, he couldn't shed much light on this 'someone', either. He did mention that he'd seen Daffodil and her friends hanging out with some boys from the rougher side of town, but lost sight of them after that.
I finally convinced her to invite her new friend Denis to Lotus' birthday. At least now I've gotten a name out of her. I snuggled my baby one last time before she blew out her candles.
What's this? Dilly's friend had arrived at the last minute, and while we were still celebrating, before I could even introduce myself, he wandered off. This does not bode well.
But I'll have to worry about that later. Right now it's Lotus' time to shine.
It turns out, he had made a bee-line for the bar.
Daffodil headed outside to join him as soon as the cake was cut. Zhan says he looks familiar, but he just can't place him. I hope it comes to him soon, as things look like they may be getting serious between the two of them.
Song didn't want to tell me, but I think he's worried about his little sister getting involved with Denis' crowd at school. So he does his best to keep an eye on them.
But Daffodil adamantly refuses to listen to any of us. And as long as they hang out in the yard and - mostly- behave themselves, all I can do is hope this infatuation burns itself out quickly.
Somehow, I have my doubts, though. Now, more then ever, Dilly always seems to have that mischievous sparkle in her eyes. I just know she's up to something.