Here's a bit of the "before" story for Wednesday's post and the "after" story for Monday's:
Tera wanted to get this cute wooden pumpkin for my birthday. She had the $1.99, but couldn't seem to get anyone to drive her to the fabric store where said pumpkin waited. Dave was swamped for days before and after my birthday, and then he came down with something that laid him low for another day or two.
While walking through the grocery store with me Wednesday, Tera sighed in exasperation and said, "I can't get to the fabric store to buy you what I wanted to buy you. I guess I'm going to have to give you candy for your birthday." She said the word in an odd, non-kid way--with drawn out disgust, as if candy were made of doo-doo and not chocolate.
I asked, "Do you want me to take you to the fabric store?"
Tera brightened. "Oh, would you?" And she said it just like you think she said it, as if she were Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant had just offered to toss a parked car out of the way so she could cross the street unimpeded.
We drove to the fabric store. So as to act surprised when she presented me with the pumpkin, I loitered down a delightful "let's pretend it's already October" aisle and looked at harvesty stuff while Tera stood in line to make her purchase. While browsing there, I spotted a display of head band-connected animal noses and ears in amongst the Halloween costumes. Without blinking, I grabbed the furry lion nose and dashed to the end of the aisle to see where Tera was in the purchase process. Surreptitiously, squinting through the slats in an end rack, I watched her inch her way closer to the register, watched her hand the woman her money and accept the receipt and crinkly bag, and watched her turn to walk toward my aisle. I then slipped the lion head band over my head, adjusted the nose, and waited with my back turned for her to call my name.
"Mom?" she said.
I turned nonchalantly, with one raised eyebrow. "Yes?"
She didn't flinch or laugh. She just put one hand on her hip (exactly the way you think she did, as if she were Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart had just 'fessed up that he'd accidentally drilled a couple of holes in the bottom of The African Queen ) and gave me a withering look. "Mom, have you been walking around the store like that?"
"No ... just here."
She shook her head slowly. "Sometimes you embarrass me."
I was still laughing about that when I got home. Feeling inspired, I sat down and wrote perhaps the quickest post of my eight-month blogging career. Fifteen minutes later, I looked at what I had written and noted that Tera's name hadn't made it into my post. She dredged up a memory for me instead, and so she's had to wait lo these long two days to make her own brief appearance here.
Inspiration number two is attached to Monday's post. After writing about my two lists, I've received several comments and private emails from people who have decided to follow suit. They're writing lists (good ones!) to friends, family ... even pastor's wives. I am so blessed by that. Thank you for responding to Tony's nudge. And thank you for letting me know!