Working from home has its advantages. It also has its disadvantages. I get interrupted 17 million times a day. "Mommy, can I have a snack? Mommy, I can't get my bike out of the garage. Mom, Aidan drinked my drink! Mommy, can I play a game on the 'puter?" Today, when Aidan asked, "Mommy, can we go blow bubbles?", I gave my standard answer: "In a minute." He sighed. Well, really it was much more than a sigh. It was more of a huff. And then he said it. With his hands on his hips and his jaw set, he demanded, "A short minute, or a lo-o-o-o-o-o-ng one??" Oh, the guilt.
So we went out and blew bubbles. We spilled bubbles all over the front porch. We hosed the bubbles off and then slid around in the sloppy mess it left behind. We rode our bikes up and down the sidewalk. We "rode the porch swing". Sometime during those two hours, Ashlie the cat got out of the house. I didn't see it happen, but a couple of hours later, I noticed that she wasn't around, and started calling her name.
"She's outside, Mommy," said Aidan.
"How do you know?" I asked.
"Because I saw her run away when I was riding my bike."
"Why didn't you tell me, Aidan? I could've gotten her!"
"Because I just wanted to keep riding."
So off we went to find Ashlie. We checked under the house, all around the house, under the deck, and in the bushes. She's an indoor cat and always has been...doesn't have front claws, and wears no identifying tags or collars. She NEVER goes outside. So I started to worry. We live one house from a busy street... so we walked down to the end of the block and I checked the road. We went up and down our street, asking neighbors to keep an eye out for her. All the way, Ian called, "ASHWIE! Come home! Come home ASHWIE!" Aidan was guilt-ridden. Ian didn't help the situation when he said, "It's gonna be terrible news when we tell Dani that her KITTY IS WOST!" We have possums in our neighborhood, including one that is known to hang out in the cedar tree next to our house and has been seen scurrying from underneath our deck. I kept imagining Ashlie coming into contact with that beast.
After two more hours, I called Dani (who was at Fortress participating in the Summer Program) and told her that Ashlie was missing. She asked Mico to bring her home so she could aid in the search. As soon as she arrived, I apprised her of the situation, and she walked straight to the west side of the house. I'd looked there twice. Fewer than 30 seconds later, she emerged from the bushes with Ashlie in her arms.
"Where was she?" I asked.
"Did you look on that side of the house?"
"Yes. Where was she?"
"Did you look under the deck?"
"YES, Dani. Where was she??"
"Under the deck. She was scared to come out. I had to crawl under there and get her."
"How did you see her under there?"
"I didn't. I followed her voice. She meowed when I called her name."
Ah. I called her name for two hours, and she never once meowed. I suppose we know who her REAL owner is.
At bedtime, I told the boys it was time to go upstairs. Aidan, who had his heart set on seeing Aunt Sherilyn when she arrives late tonight, pleaded, "One more minute, please Mommy?"
I relented. "Okay, boys. ONE more minute."
Aidan ducked his chin,looked at me from the tops of his eyes, and said, "A lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong minute."