Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, on a little suburban street in September, there was a fierce thunderstorm on a Tuesday night. In a home on that suburban street lived a mommy, a daddy, and two little girls. When the thunderstorm rolled into town, the two girls were sleeping, snug in bed, and the mommy and daddy had just settled down for an episode of Mad Men.

Then the rain started. The wind blew the rain sideways towards the house, the thunder boomed, and the lightening cracked until, around 9:00, it cracked in just the right place and made all the lights in the house go out. Don and Betty Draper disappeared from the television set just as a wail came from the bedroom at the end of the hall. The mommy and daddy rushed there at once.

First, one little girl woke up because her night light was no longer bathing her room in a soothing glow. Also, she did not like the thunder. The daddy went around lighting candles and finding flashlights while the mommy remembered where there were leftover glow sticks from a Hot Dog Camping birthday party. She brought one in and snuggled the girl for a few minutes, then left her with her new glow stick/night light.

Next, the other little girl woke up because her fan was no longer filling her room with a soothing noise. Also, her night light had gone out. So the mommy brought in a new glow stick/night light and snuggled with her for a minute before going to her own bed.

In the morning, the rain had stopped, but the electricity in the house still didn't work. The mommy, daddy, and two girls kept trying to do things - turning on light switches, using the garbage disposal, opening the garage door to get the stroller out - before remembering that they didn't work. They made coffee with the french press and ate breakfast by candlelight. They decided not to open the freezer at all and only opened the refrigerator twice, to get the half and half out, and to put it back.

Eventually, the daddy waved good-bye to go to work while the mommy took the little girls all the places they needed to go. While they were at the library for dance, she charged her phone. While they were at the gym for yoga, she showered and blow-dried her hair. And because the power still wasn't on when it was time to go to dance class for the second time that day, the Very Nice Mommy decided to take the girls out for dinner after the class and before her meeting at school.

At the restaurant, the little girls looked at the menu and decided what they wanted to order. The bigger girl wanted a cheeseburger. The littler girl wanted chicken fingers with honey. When the waitress came, the big girl said, "I'll have the cheeseburger, please."

The mommy looked at the little girl. "Would you like to tell the waitress what you want?" she asked. When the little girl didn't respond, she whispered, "Remember? You decided that you want the chicken fingers."

"I want the cheeseburger," declared the little girl.

The mommy's eyebrows shot up. "You DO?" she asked.

The little girl nodded at the waitress emphatically. "I want the cheeseburger," she said.

The mommy looked at the waitress and said, "She's never eaten a cheeseburger in her life, but . . ." and the waitress smiled hopefully and said, "First time for everything!" and walked away.

The girls colored and ate some root chips with goat cheese dip until their food came. The waitress set down the cheeseburger in front of the bigger girl, who nicely asked her mommy to put some ketchup on it.

The waitress set down the cheeseburger in front of the littler girl, who took one look at it and wailed, "It has meat on it!!!!" So she ate her french fries and some fruit while the mommy and the bigger girl ate their food. Then she and her big sister went to play at their friends' house while their mommy went to a meeting at school (and their daddy was STILL at work).

When the mommy picked them up, they smelled like baths and marshmallow lotion. They had eaten donuts and cider and had a dance party to Christmas music. Best of all, their daddy's car was in the driveway when they pulled in, and lights were on in their house.

So they went to bed, snug with their night lights and their fans, and the food was cold again in the refrigerator while the mommy and daddy watched the Modern Family premiere on the couch and everyone lived happily ever after.

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