“Presenting, in person, that four-foot-eight bundle of dynamite, dainty...Evie!” Mom announced, slapping her hands on the kitchen countertop, imitating a drumroll.
I appeared from the hallway, strutting into the room dressed in my blue Cinderella ball gown. Looking out at the imaginary audience, I gave them a sweet smile and a slight curtsy.
“Maestro, music, please,” I said.
Mom walked over to the old record player that Gran and Papa gave her when she was a teenager. Within seconds, the house filled with the big band version of “I Could Write a Book” sung by Harry Connick, Jr.
With one hand on my hip and the other floating in midair, I posed as the intro played and Mom sashayed her way over to me. Taking my hand in hers, she twirled me around as Harry began to sing. We gracefully glided across the floor in our socked feet as the pretend audience oohed and aahed at our talent.
As the music got faster, Mom and I let go of each other’s hands and went freestyle, shaking our butts and waving our arms. I erupted in laughter at the sight of Mom kicking her legs high into the air.
“You always make rainy days the best,” I said, shimmying.
“I was just about to say the exact same thing to you, Evie.”
“Weird,” we said in unison.
“Mom, do you know what I want to be when I grow up?”
“No. What do you want to be?”
A big smile appeared across her beautiful face. “I’m very impressed that at five years old you already know what you want to be. And I’m very flattered.”
“What’s flattered?” I yelled over the music.
Mom twisted at the waist. “It means I’m delighted, honored, tickled pink that you would want to be me when you grow up.”
“I like tickled pink. I’m already a lot like you. I’m a girl, I have the same color hair, and I’m smart.”
“It’s practically like looking in a mirror,” she said.
“Hey, Mom, what did one tomato say to the other tomato?”
“I don’t know.”
“You go ahead and I’ll ketchup. Get it? Maine told it to me.”
Smiling, Mom said, “I love you, Evie.”
I swung my arms back and forth. “I love me too.”
Mom and I danced until the record was over, then we drank lemonade and ate chocolate chip cookies right before supper.
It was the best day evah because my mom was the best mom evah.
The heat from the sun warmed my face before my eyes squinted open. A new day had begun. Raising my hands over my head, I stretched as many of the aches out of my body as possible. By my calculations I had slept approximately two point three hours last night, after what could possibly have been the longest day in the history of days.
Snuggling deeper into my comforter, I allowed my eyes to drift shut. I needed more than eight hours between the night and the morning. During college I was able to put in a full day of classes, work a part-time job, and pull an all-nighter whenever necessary. In only a few years I had become an aching, sore, tired lump under the comforter.
Letting out a loud huff, I forced my body into the upright position. Before I could talk myself out of it, I tossed the comforter off, and swung my legs over the edge of the bed. The cool air prickled my skin, causing a slight shiver to skip from the top of my shoulders to the bottom of my socked feet. It was the end of September and the feel of autumn was already in the air. During the day, the temperature hovered pleasantly in the high seventies, while the nighttime dropped to a crisp low in the fifties. Cold enough to make the house chilly in the morning, but not enough to turn on the heat just yet.
I slid out of the bed and into my robe then padded across the chilly floor to the hallway. Before heading to the bathroom, I opened the door to her room and peeked inside. A breath caught in my throat when Linus, our four-year-old gray and white Shih Tzu lying next to her popped his head up. I was afraid the slight movement would wake her, but her body remained still, her breathing steady. Thank God. I quietly closed the door and made my way to the bathroom.
Turning on the shower, I took a pee while the water heated up. It wasn’t until I was soaked and soapy from head to toe that I realized what day it was. It was my day. The one day of the week that I took a little time just for me. A slight surge of energy coursed through my body as I picked up the pace of my shower.
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