What is Blogophilia? It’s a highly addictive blogging group where once a week, fellow writers submit topics, link their posts via Facebook or Myspace, and incorporate the weekly prompts into a blog post using whatever style or format they wish. It’s a great way to clear out the mental cobwebs.
This is my fourth Blogophilia post! 🙂
(Hard, 2pts): use a pick-up line
(Easy, 1pt): include “rules are meant to be broken”
“Mommy! Mommy! Look! Look!” Stella bounced up and down, compressing snow underneath her boots. Her orange snowsuit made her look like a tangerine. “I made a snow girl!”
“Mom! Mom! Look at me! I’m going to make a snow fort!” Patrick waved his gloved hands in the air to get Lara’s attention.
“Yes! Yes! I love your snow girl. Great idea. We need a snow fort.” Lara grinned at her children, thankful to have the week off from work. She needed the vacation time to unwind at home. The holidays were finally over with. She hadn’t experienced very much quality time with her husband and kids since Thanksgiving. Between work, shopping, decorating, and all the other meaningless nonsense that had been occupying her time, Lara knew her family was missing her almost as much as she was missing them.
Lara found an undisturbed area of snow and carefully laid on her back in the wet snow bank. She felt a little foolish, but pushed her embarrassment aside as she moved her arms up and down, while at the same time, she moved her legs in and out. It had been ages since Lara had made angels in the snow. She instantly felt ten years younger. The sky was a brilliant blue, with only an occasional cloud here and there.
“Kids! Kids!” Lara giggled. “Look at me! Look at me!” She knew Patrick was rolling his eyes but Stella squealed in delight.
“Watch me! Watch me! I can make one too!” Stella flopped herself on the ground. Lara laughed at her exuberance. “See! I can make one too!”
“You’re not even doing it right,” her brother shouted. “I’ll show you how to make a real snow angel.”
Lara let out a sigh, wishing Patrick wasn’t so bossy with his younger sister. They’d managed to build a snow boy, a snow girl, and a snow dog, with hardly a squabble. She knew it was probably asking too much for her children to get along for an entire day. They were all getting tired. That’s when things usually got ugly between the siblings.
Lara attempted to get up out of the small snow crater created by her body’s impression, when she heard crunching footsteps coming up from behind her.
“Hey, good looking. Is this a private party, or can anyone join?”
Lara smiled. The kids had been so noisy; she hadn’t even heard the car pull up into the driveway. “I don’t know. What’s the secret password?”
“Password? Hmm…hot chocolate?”
“Only if you’re making it,” Lara teased. She took her husband’s hand when he offered it, launching Lara to her feet.
“Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! I want hot chocolate too!”
“Me too, Dad! Me too!”
“After dinner,” Lara said. “You know the rules about treats. Hot chocolate is a treat.”
“Awww!” the children whined in chorus.
“Oh, come on,” Wil said, wrapping his arms around his wife’s waist. “Just this once? Rules are meant to be broken.”
Lara didn’t want to be the rule maker all the time. Sometimes she worried that she and her husband were too lenient with their children. Wil was practically a big kid himself. It wasn’t easy being the mom. “Fine! But everyone has to eat all of their vegetables at dinner. I mean it, this time.”
Lara did her best to not grumble. She didn’t necessarily believe her little manipulators. Some days she didn’t know what her kids were living on. They were such picky eaters, but Lara still held onto the belief that one day, she’d only have to make one version of dinner instead of two. She hated feeding her kids carrot sticks, chicken nuggets, and fries while she and her husband enjoyed linguine with pesto sauce.
Wil nuzzled Lara’s neck affectionately and held her close. “You know, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Lara waited for Wil to release her, but he continued to hold onto her tightly.
“What’s wrong?” Lara said.
Wil was silent for longer than Lara was comfortable with. Meanwhile, the children had discovered icicles hanging from their playhouse. Mom and Dad were temporarily ignored.
“You’re home early,” Lara continued, hoping to elicit a response.
Wil let out a long breath. “I was laid off from work. My entire area was laid off.”
“You lost your job?” Lara was glad that Wil was still holding onto her. She felt unsteady on her feet as she tried to process the information she’d been given. “What are we going to do? Wait. Honey, are you OK? God! How could they do this? Right after Christmas? How could they do this? How long are you going to be laid off from work?”
“I don’t know. It doesn’t look good, but we’re going to be fine. You’ll see. We’ve been through worse. We can get through this.”
Lara rested her head on her husband’s shoulder as they stood outside in the cold. They held onto each other as they both accepted Wil’s loss of income and what that would mean for their family.
“What are we going to do?” Lara felt tears beginning to form, despite her attempts to remain strong.
“Well…I’ve been thinking. This could be a lot worse. Christmas is over, so we don’t have to worry about that. You still have your job, so that gives us some money coming in. We don’t have to pay for a sitter until I’m back to work. We’ll figure something out. We always do.”
“You’re right. It could be worse.”
“Besides, we have each other. That’s the important thing. A job is just a job. I can get another job. You and the kids…you’re what makes it all worthwhile.” Wil squeezed his wife as close to himself as he could with the two of them dressed in their winter gear. “You wouldn’t believe how many of the guys went straight to the bar when they got the news. All I could think about was coming home to you. I love you, Lara.”
Lara kissed her husband, wishing she could fix their situation. There wasn’t anything she could do to make things better. She felt as though their world had spiraled completely out of control. One minute, she’d been having a perfect day, and now she felt as though she was falling, down, down, down.
“So,” Wil continued, “that’s my news. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even want to think about this anymore, at least not today. There’s nothing I can do about this right now. So…maybe we can give ourselves permission to enjoy the rest of the day together. I’m never home this early and I want to make the best of it. I’ll be the one to make dinner tonight and get the kids off to bed. You enjoy that Jacuzzi tub of ours that never gets used, and tonight we make wild, crazy love to each other. How does that sound?”
“And tomorrow, I’ll get up early with the kids. You can sleep in. I’ll update my resume. I’ll put on that blue suit of mine, and I’ll start looking for a new job. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even find something better than the one I had before.”
Lara gave her husband a grateful smile. They were a strong couple. They would get through this. “I think I’ll wear my lacy red nighty tonight.”
“Hmm…the red one. Not for long,” Wil answered with a saucy grin. He kissed his wife again. This time, Lara’s response was passionate enough to bring groans of disgust from their children. Fifteen years of marriage, and their love for each other had only grown stronger despite the hurdles life had thrown at them along the way.
“OK,” Wil announced. “Who’s ready for hot chocolate?”
Stella and Patrick shouted, “I am! I am!” They rushed to the house as fast as their buddled up bodies would allow. Wil took Lara’s hand. She squeezed Wil’s fingers affectionately and purposely put the bad news behind her as they headed towards the house, hand-in-hand together.