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Thank Heaven It's Not Playoff Season

Recently I spent a few quiet moments downstairs one weekend afternoon, blissfully working away at getting a headstart on the upcoming week. Daddy was taking a well-earned nap, and as I plowed through the menu planning and grocery list, I gradually became aware that I hadn’t heard from the girls for a while.

At all.

Not one peep. Or outraged scream.

So I went upstairs to investigate, and found Cora’s door closed. Peaceful murmurs could be heard behind it, but since I was there I decided to look further. I knocked on Cora’s door and opened it.

Inside, Cora was standing at her desk, laboriously sharpening a pencil, while Maddie sat on Cora’s bed and methodically counted Cora’s piggy bank. “What’s going on?” I asked, only to have Maddie hold up a “wait a moment” finger at me while she kept counting. “Seventy-three, seventy-four, seventy-five, seventy-six.” She looked at Cora with satisfaction while continuing to keep me on hold. “Cora, that’s forty-seven dollars and seventy-six cents! We’ve got a ton of money! We’ll be fine!” And then, looking at me, “Oh, hi, Mommy!”

Cora put her pencil down and turned to me. “Mommy! FINALLY! Thank heavens – we’re saved!”

She elaborated.

“See Mommy, my door got stuck and I COULDN’T GET IT OPEN! I mean, we REALLY tried and tried for HOURS! But it was TOO STUCK for us to open it! So we figured we needed a plan.”

Cora gestured enthusiastically at a stack of paper. “I decided to write a note so we could slide it under the door and someone could discover it while they were walking by. So I got a stack of paper but couldn’t find my crayon box. I finally found this pencil but it was too dull to use, so I had to sharpen it and my sharpener isn’t very good so it was taking me a long time.”

Cora took a breath and Maddie jumped in. “And while Cora was sharpening her pencil I decided to count her money so we’d know how much money we had for food and books and stuff, you know, for supplies, just while we waited for you to come rescue us.”

My mouth opened. Then closed. Then opened again. Then closed again.

Cora and Maddie smiled at each other, mistaking my bewildered where-do-I-start silence for overwhelming relief at my babies’ safety. “But it’s ok, Mommy, we were never worried,” Cora said reassuringly. “We knew Daddy would come rescue us eventually. We know he loves us, even more than he loves football. He’s told me that before.”

And with that they scampered out the door, on to another game.

And I stood there, still opening and closing my mouth like a fish.


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