I have to tell you that Friday’s squishy mushy heart feelings post was supposed to be about the monkeys and how they brought about adventure and squishy heart feelings. I got the feelings so badly because Scarlet was sick for Valentine’s Day.
Then, as usual, I started to write, write, write too fast – and recall memories I was afraid to lose – so I wrote, wrote, wrote too fast, because that’s what I do. And suddenly, the post was way too long for the Valentine’s Day story so I present it without (too much) preamble today. Show, not tell. Tell, and not show. It was the monkeys. Nana visited us in early January and had tiny stuffed monkeys and bears for the four grandkids (my kids and my sister’s two kids). The tiny monkeys had velcro arms and were quite huggable and fetching. Scarlet got the idea that she wanted to get one for every kid in her class.
This was six weeks ago so I confirmed with my mom where she got the monkeys but we still slacked a bit on it, until the weekend before Valentine’s Day. It was Sunday night and my weekend workload was light, for once, and we decided to go to Dollar General and see if we could, indeed, find 20 stuffed monkeys a few days before Valentine’s Day. I had my hope alive.
So we went to the closest Dollar General in our area, which also happens to be a brand new one. We ran in and found.. SEVEN.. red, white and pink monkeys hanging from a white chain. So like.. 13 to go. We asked the nice lady if there were more in back and she said not this close to Valentine’s Day. So we poked around in all the stuffed animal boxes and found one more. EIGHT great monkeys. (jumping on the bed) This was in Westfield, MA so she suggested we try another Dollar General about 10 minutes away in Holyoke. Always up for adventure we raced there and they had ONE great monkey.
Now we had nine! The great people of Dollar General Holyoke sent us to the great people of Dollar General Chicopee – maybe another 10-15 minutes in the car. How are all these locations so clustered together?? Maybe they weren’t and we were time traveling. That’s probably right. Anyway, this Dollar General had six monkeys. We were so excited! 15 monkeys! I was already pulling up Amazon on my phone to see if we could get the remaining five sent to us via Prime, when the employee suggested we go to Dollar General South Hadley. Yes, for real. Apparently only five minutes from this location!
Yes. Yes, it would. We got there and I had to burst out laughing. They must have had 25 monkeys just right there! If we had started out in South Hadley, we would have gotten them all at once, but we wouldn’t have had the tale to tell. I love adventure and I don’t love giving up on monkey missions. Not in the name of monkeys and daughters and Valentine’s Day.
Scarlet did all her valentines that night and then the rest on Monday night. We were SO excited. And then on Tuesday night she was 99% instead of 100% and I’m her mama and I always know she’s sick 12 hours before she does. 103 fever! For three days! Ugh, so awful. Des brought home her valentines for her, and she will bring hers to the class after February break on the 25th. At least those kids have tiny monkeys to look forward to when they’re back at school, and they don’t even know it.
It’s love. He even slept with her when she was sick, and totally took up her whole bed. She now thinks she loves sloths more than moose (like a slap in the face, I tell ya) and wants me to take her to Costa Rica to a sloth baby refuge. Those dreams are even loftier than going to four Dollar Generals in one night to get 20 baby monkeys. I think I said yes to everything because I had such a bad squishy heart feeling about my little girl being so sick on a holiday that is so much fun at school. Speaking of which, she also missed the student leadership bake sale – which was a day late anyway because of snow.
So then there were the hijinks of the two hour delay, the watching a neighbor’s daughter, her not coming into our house because of sick Scarlet, the driveway not being plowed, the neighbor’s plow guy coming to plow the shared driveway part, me driving in and out of the driveway and around the street to get out of his way, only to park and then have OUR plow guy come the exact second the bus comes. And meanwhile I had Des and our neighbor girl in the car, while frantically messaging Scarlet on my work Kindle that I was in the driveway but stuck until the plow was done. Life is never boring, and hey, I didn’t get stuck in my driveway. It seemed almost certain. When it’s not plowed, it’s bad. When it is, it’s bad.
So, Scarlet got better, and then I got sick. Valentine’s Day was gorgeous. I just wrote almost 1,000 words about stuffed monkeys and stuck driveways and squishy hearts, but somehow, it seemed it all needed to come out. It often does.