Caleb is persistent boy, his cry only stops after grandpa Haymitch takes us to the meadow. So we can only start again at three. What a waste of time I think.

"Are you ready to start again?" Grandpa Haymitch asks.

"I was ready, but yeah I'm ready," I pout.

"Great, now why don't you start? Do you need me to show you how to tie it again?"

"No, I still remember it."

I try to tie the laces carefully, but it's hard to do the knot when you try to remember the next step to do it at the same time. I end up upset at the second try, tears start blurry my sight.

"I can't do it," tears start streaming down my cheeks.

"Of course you can do it, you just need more practice," grandpa Haymitch hugs me. "You'll surprise how practices can make it perfect."

"But I don't have much time, it's already three forty. Mommy and daddy will pick us up at five and I'm sure they will be too tired to help me with it tonight."

"We have more than enough," grandpa Haymitch smiles. "You never fail at anything more than fourth try, right? You still have 2 tries left."

"But I never tie shoelaces before," I pout.

"Are you trying to say that you are quitting?"

"No, it just…"

"If you aren't quitting yet, we better start again right away," grandpa Haymitch wipes my tears. "Do you remember the steps?"


"Why don't you sing the steps while you tie your laces?"

"Hmm… okay."

"Good, on three?"

I nod.

"One… two… three!"

I start to sing the steps while my fingers form the knot carefully.

Criss cross and go under the bridge
Then you got to pull it tight
Make a loop but keep a long tail
That is how to do it right
Then you take the other string
And you wrap it 'round the loop.
Pull it through the hole, now you got the scoop

Criss cross and go under the bridge

(This is where you tie the loops together)
Now you made a double knot!

"I did it, grandpa! The shoelaces are tied perfectly," I look at grandpa Haymitch proudly.

"I know you can do it. There's nothing you can't do, can you?" His eyes are teary.

"Nope, I can do all things. I'm a big girl after all."

"Let's tie the next pair," grandpa Haymitch smiles.

So I start the step all over again on the left pair and in no time both the laces are tied perfectly.

"There you go. I'm so proud of you, Willow," grandpa Haymitch hugs me tight.

"Thank you for teaching me, grandpa Haymitch," I kiss his cheek.

"You're welcome, sweetheart."

"You did it, Willow!" Caleb rubs his eyes and gives me a huge adorable smile. "Will you teach me how doing it when I have my own shoes with laces?"

"Sure, I'm looking forward to it. But you have to promise to tell anyone that I'm the one who teach you, deal?"

"Deal…! Let's go to the bakery, show your knot to mommy and daddy. They'll be proud of you and you can ask daddy to bake us strawberry cupcake," Caleb's face lights up. "I love strawberry cupcake."

"Can we go to the bakery, grandpa Haymitch?"

"Why not, it's already four thirty. Surely the cake is done by now," grandpa Haymitch smiles.

"Yaayyy…" Caleb and I shout in unison then run toward the front door.

Grandpa Haymitch opens the door and we walk hand in hand toward the town square.

My daddy's bakery located on the other side of town square, it's a blue and white painted building with a huge board says MELLARK'S BAKERY on the top.

Sweet scent is welcoming us when we approach the back door of the bakery, the door that lead us to the clean and huge kitchen where my daddy bakes all delicious breads, cakes and cookies.

My father's baked goods are the most delicious baked goods in all Panem; I'm not saying it because I'm haughty, but because it's the truth.

My daddy is the best baker in the whole Panem.

I grab Caleb hand and run toward the door.

"Mommy…! Daddy…!" Caleb shouts. "You have to see Willow's knot! She's so clever."

My daddy opens the door and smiles toward us. Caleb and I enter the bakery kitchen with a huge grin. Grandpa Haymitch follows us a moment later.

"Well… Look who's coming over to pick us up, Peeta," my mother hugs and kisses Caleb and me on the forehead. "And look at those huge grins. You have fun with grandpa Haymitch, haven't you two?"

My father kisses Caleb and me lightly on the head and puts us on the stool in front of a huge and beautiful white wedding cake. The cake is covered with a lot of pink and red roses, it looks yummy.

"Whoa…it's beautiful. I bet it's yummy also," I grin.

My parents and grandpa Haymitch smile but Caleb shift on his stool and pouts at me.

"It is, but we don't come here to praise the cake, Willow. We already know the cake is going to be gorgeous, it's our daddy's cake after all," he rolls his eyes.

"Someone is very grumpy today," my father puts his hand around my mother's waist and smiles at her. "Don't you think he needs some sugar cookies to light up his mood?"

"No… daddy," Caleb is facing my father now. "I want a strawberry cupcake and you have to bake some because Willow is going to make you proud. You have to grant her wish if she makes you proud."

"But I never said I want strawberry cupcake, Caleb," I say.

"But I want it very much, Willow. Please ask daddy to bake some," Caleb's eyes are teary. "I can't make them proud yet, so I can't ask for strawberry cupcake yet. But I want some."

"All right… but don't cry, okay?" I hug him.

"Well, well, well… look at my grandchildren, they are a team already," grandpa Haymitch laughs. "Just like their parents, they'll achieve great thing with that."

My mother glares at grandpa Haymitch.

"What? I just say the truth," grandpa Haymitch takes out his silver little flask and drinks the content. "Well my job is done. See you at dinner Katniss, Peeta and good luck Willow, Caleb."

Then he leaves with a wink.

"Bye grandpa Haymitch," Caleb and I wave.

"So...What have you done that will make us proud, Willow?" My father smiles.

I climb down from the stool and walk toward my parents.

"I can tie my shoelaces perfectly on the third try," I point out the knot on my shoes. "Grandpa Haymitch told me the steps and I sang the steps while I tied the knots."

"She did it herself, I swear!" Caleb shouts. "You will bake her some strawberry cupcakes, right, daddy?"

"Yeah… please bake some strawberry cupcakes for Caleb and blueberry cupcakes for me, daddy."

Caleb climbs down his stool too and grabs my hand. We stand there, in front of our parents, grinning.

But they do not compliment me. They just look at Caleb and me. Smiles to each other and then mommy kisses daddy gently for a very long time.

"Don't you proud of Willow?" Caleb shouts. "I want my strawberry cupcake."

I lower my gaze, my eyes are teary.

"Hey… why are you crying, sweetie?" My mother hugs me.

"You don't proud of me, do you?" I ask.

"Of course we do!" My parents say in unison.

"Why don't you praise me, then?"

"That's because we proud of you far beyond any compliment can cover, sweetie," my father says.

"You double your shoelaces just like your father," my mother smiles. "That is a little thing that I will always remember and love about him; he is very special for me. The fact that you do you shoelaces the way he does, is overwhelming for both of us."

"The fact that you and Caleb is here, standing in front of us with those adorable blue and gray eyes. The fact that both of you inherit some of us is wonderful," my father puts his hands on top of Caleb and me. "We are so proud, we are speechless."

Caleb and I hug our parents tightly.

"I love you so much, mommy, daddy."

"We love you more, darling," my parents smile.

"So… will you bake us some cupcakes, daddy?" Caleb asks.

"Absolutely!" My father smiles. "We better go home now if we are going to bake some before midnight."

Then the fourth of us is going home hand to hand. I smile so huge my cheek is hurt, but I don't care. My parents are proud of my brother and me. I feel so happy that I am my mother and my father daughter.

I am Willow Mellark and I am proud to be a Mellark.

Add that to the fact that I'm going to wear my first shoe with laces for my first day at school and a blueberry cupcake for my first lunch at school tomorrow.

I am the luckiest girl in the whole Panem.