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Bright Day

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The aviary was teeming with bright colors and life; it was warm as a tropical rainforest, since that was where most of its birds were originally native to, and filled with moisture and growing things. Jarra, halfway through her work experience period at the Roof of the World, had chosen to go here for her time with Candace this week because she'd wanted somewhere that wasn't as cold and stark - the Roof of the World was beautiful, but it was a sharp, harsh sort of beauty. Watching exos freak out at actual weather was entertaining, but a break was nice.

"It's good that you're doing well with the work experience," Candace said. "I was a teaching assistant for mine, because I did my childcare experience and decided I didn't want to work with babies. Got to take them on field trips to the zoo." A rotund yellow bird landed near her head and chirped at her.

Jarra reached out towards the yellow bird, careful not to actually touch; it jumped around to look at her hand from every angle. "Yeah, I got to spend my childcare experience in a nursery. Definitely don't want to work with babies. Probably don't want to work with exos either, but at least Roof of the World is interesting."

Candace laughed. "That definitely helps. The field trips were so much better. The zoo - not this one, it was in Australia, very hot and dry - and a museum. Got to see how they filmed Earth Rolling News, too. The rest of the time it was just standard teaching things, helping kids with their math homework and making sure nobody got into fights at lunch, but that was still fun. It's why I decided I wanted to be a ProMom."

"You had a ProMom of your own, didn't you?" Jarra asked. On one of the nearby branches, a bright red-and-blue parrot landed and chirped.

"I did," Candace said after a brief pause. "I mean, I do. We still talk. A ProDad, too."

"What's she like?" The red-and-blue bird was joined by a green-and-blue one; Jarra turned to Candace.

"Talkative. Her name is Sadie. Her parents were from Earth too, so I got to meet them a few times." Candace smiled. "She was really supportive about everything I wanted to do. I told her I wanted to be a ProMom, and she loved the idea. She's the one who suggested being a teaching assistant. My ProDad was..." Candace looked down. "Less happy about it."

"Why not?" Jarra asked. The two birds chirped back and forth for a few seconds before flying away.

Candace shrugged. "He thought I'd be bad at it. Handicapped kids shouldn't have a ProMom like me, stuff like that. Sadie figured I should at least try. It's not like they let anyone be a ProMom. Usually they filter out the really bad ones before we actually get near kids, with stuff like the work experience period."

"Handicapped kids shouldn't have a ProDad like him," Jarra muttered. "You're a good ProMom, Candace."

"Thanks, Jarra," Candace said, smiling.