Today is another uniquely American holiday: President’s Day (i.e., also known among harried parents who just don’t feel the same patriotic glow of the Fourth of July or Veteran’s Day as “another frickin’ day when the kids are home from school”). My offspring – eighteen and sixteen, respectively – no longer require me to take the day off to be home with them, but stay home I did: my house has been quiet, both punkers off enjoying their (yet another) long weekend from school, me home happily writing.
My daughter shattered my groove for this latest WIP late this afternoon, trailing sand and the scent of salt water when she burst through the front door, her suntan lotion wafting in the air circulated about by every ceiling fan going at maximum speed in our South Florida home.
“What’re you working on?” she asked me. “And why are you watching that old Christmas movie?” She stuck one ear bud from my iPod into her own ear and leaned over to see what I was typing. “Wow,” she muttered, shaking her head. “No wonder you never what month it is anymore.”
She likes to pretend to be this stern task-mistress she envisions Becca to be. “So, Maria-Claire, will you have that Christmas story to me in time?” This she asks in a god-awful British accent, shaking her finger at me.
I give her the finger back and return to my holiday playlist and Christmas movies, but back she comes. “Should we light the menorah too?” she cackled.
Ignoring my “I’m pretending to be mad” look, she told me – still in her best British voice, “The beach was fab today.” She headed out to our pool, me trailing after her, intent on catching the last warmth of the day, the air cool but the sun still warm on our skin.
She cackled at me on more time over the faint strains of winter holiday music coming from the DVD still playing inside. “Well, Mom, genius is only 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, right? At least we live in the right climate for that perspiration part. Ho ho ho!”
Having worked out that my kid just – albeit nicely – dissed me, I refused to let her turn the holiday carols off.
My son walked in not an hour ago, confused. “Why in the world are you listening to Christmas music?”
My daughter didn’t miss a beat. “Mom’s perspiring for her next story!”
I threw in the towel....
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