When You’re There, Be All There

“You’re my best friend,” Sam tells me seriously, happy that I told “The Seven Stones” story for the third time that day. Sam and Macy had begged and begged me to tell it to them again, knowing that if they waited until bedtime, I’d be fast asleep by the fireplace and in no condition to cook up a worthy tale. Sometimes I make deals with them that if they behave or bring me a plate of food or something to drink, I will tell them more of the story.

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I promised Sam and Macy that if they went outside and played in the snow for awhile, I would tell them more of the story when they came back inside.

“No, Macy’s your best friend,” I correct him.

“No she’s not! You’re my best friend! Macy annoys me all the time.”

“Maybe that’s because you annoy her all the time…”

“I never annoy her.”

I swear less than a minute passes before he does something to annoy her, and as she stalks off I say, “Oh really? You never annoy her?” to which he gives me a smug smile. We both know she’s his best friend because she’s his twin sister, just like my twin is my best friend (even though we may not always admit it either!).

Some days I don’t tell them the story because I’m simply too tired (I liken the fireplace to the deadly poppy field in The Wizard of Oz) and with drooping eyes I watch Sam and Macy trudge upstairs to bed sad and dejected, their “babies” (a stuffed tiger and horse) in hand and their blankets trailing behind them. Even then I sometimes lack the willpower to get up and force my fuzzy brain awake. Sam and Macy think I have the story all planned out. And Macy (who is far too smart for her own good) shocked me the other day when she told me what she believed the ending would be: In a final battle, Riduerin would use the White Stone to kill the Dark Prince and the good guys would win. She was dead on. Okay, so maybe my story is a bit cliche if an 8 year old can guess the ending, but as Jo would say, “It’s what the papers want!”

Macy loves the story so much that she insists I publish it, and Sam and Macy love drawing pictures for my story.

Macy's drawing of Emer, Riduerin's dragon pet, at home in the mountains

Macy’s drawing of Emer, Riduerin’s dragon pet, at home in the mountains

I sometimes wonder why it’s so hard to motivate myself to do certain things sometimes… things that I both want to do but don’t want to do. I want to tell Sam and Macy stories, but not when I’m tired. I want to play outside with them, but not when it’s cold (which basically rules out all winter). But if we wait until just the right moment (which is more often than not “when I feel like it” and I don’t “feel” like it very often!) then when we look back at our lives, we’ll realize just exactly how many opportunities we missed.

Moira in Hook knew how important it was to seize opportunities. She scolds her “grownup” husband, Peter, for neglecting his children because work is his number one priority. “Your children love you, they want to play with you. How long do you think that lasts? Soon Jack may not even want you to come to his games. We have a few special years with our children, when they’re the ones that want us around. After that you’re going to be running after them for a bit of attention. It’s so fast Peter. It’s a few years, and it’s over. And you are not being careful. And you are missing it.”

As my dear brother Nate reminds me, “When you’re there, be all there.”

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Sam’s drawing of Riduerin, the main character in “The Seven Stones”

 

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