It had been fifteen minutes since I’d taken out the cookies from the oven, and no kids came barreling into the kitchen. How odd.
“Jessie! James!” I called out to the general direction of the living room, but there was still no response. (And yes, that’s what we named our kids. No judgment.)
Willing myself not to overreact and panic and think about crazy scenarios like my little ones being abducted by aliens, I rushed to the living room. Please let them be there, I prayed, because I had no idea what to do if ever they weren’t.
It turned out I didn’t have to worry. They didn’t go blasting off again. They were sitting very comfortably on the couch, primping our dog (who we were tempted to name Meowth) with a strange, laser-like focus. Whatever the reason was, I didn’t get the memo.
“What are you guys doing?” I asked, a little too brightly. “Your cookies are getting cold.”
They both looked up, beaming. But it was Jessie who answered. “Hi, Mom. We’re just getting Ash ready.” She leaned in conspiratorially. “He’s going out on a date.”
I blinked. “A date?”
“Yes! With Mrs. Hall’s dog!” James exclaimed triumphantly, jumping off the couch to show me the gazebo and the dog-sized table and chairs they’d somehow managed to construct (without me noticing) on the garden. It was half-impressive, half-horrifying.
Impressive because my kids were only six and four.
Horrifying because they pretty much wrecked half the lawn to set things up for that afternoon’s date – crushing flowerbeds, trampling on grass, displacing soil. Their father was going to be furious.
But what the heck, it was just too darn cute.
“I think Ash’s lady friend would love some homemade cookies,” I offered, and the smiles they bestowed me in return were priceless.
That night, before going to bed, I told my husband about our dog’s date. Expecting him to be angry, I’d already prepared my case and had it within arm’s reach, should he throw a fit for the mess in the garden.
But instead, he laughed.
“What’s so funny?”
He wrapped an arm around me and kissed my forehead. “You’re all so cute. You do know Mrs. Hall’s dog is male?”
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.