Ami has done it this time. Because of her poor Emily got a lot more than a busy cleaning day. Will this day remain in Emily’s mind as a terrible mishap or will she be able to remember it as an adventure?
“Mom!” I sobbed, as my mother held me to her shoulder. “How do I always end up doing maniac things? I’m sure there’s no one as weird as me!”
The long day was finally over and the clock and I were safely home. Mom had known it had broken the instant it hit the floor. (I guess it really did have a thundering crack when it fell.) But I was already gone when she, and Era, who was desperately trying to keep her downstairs, emerged to the kitchen. Era ended up telling her and so Mom just waited for me to come home, which I eventually did. An hour or so later.
It seemed much longer to me.
And when I finally arrived home Mom took one look at me and didn’t say a thing. I helped her hang the clock in silence because Remington was home and was making supper. Then I took a long, warm shower and at last emerged downstairs when Dad, Remington, and Era were all safely in the living room watching a Tv show. And then it all hit me and I went sobbing to Mom
“It’s ok honey.” She comforted. “You’re not the only one.”
“Name one person.” I whimpered inhaling a big breath.
“Me. Your dad. Your Grandparents. Everyone makes mistakes.”
“No. Name one person who backs over a microwave. Then because of that they hanging up a clock. But they break the clock. Then because they break the clock they go to their new friends’ house to fix it and end up scratching their car all up! “
“Besides me!” I groaned.
“Oh Emily, I know how you feel. You know my story of dropping your great grandma’s favorite tea pot. And you know the tale of when I mowed over my brother’s pet snake. And when . . . “
“I know.” I nodded, trying to grasp a better look on the situation.
“Those moments I felt as crazy and clumsy as anyone can feel.”
“But Mom! They’re pretty much strangers! And I scratched their prized car’s paint job.”
“Hey, when your dad and I were new friends I burnt his favorite hat in a camp fire. That wasn’t an easy day. And when Janet and I met, I lost her beautiful pen that she let me borrow. But to this day we’re still best friends.”
“I guess.” I moaned and wiped my eyes as I sat back to look at Mom.
“Emily.” She soothed. “It’s totally normal to feel this way. We all do, a lot. Everyone has their back-over-microwave-moments. Life isn’t always easy. But I promise you, deary,” She pulled me into another hug. “it’ll be ok.”
“Thank you Mom.” I sniffed as I melted into tears. But that time they were thankful tears. What can I say. My Mom’s the best.
“I love you, E.M.M.” She stroked my hair gently as I cried. Finally I sat back and rubbed away the waterfall of cascading tears.
“Besides” Mom wondered. “didn’t you say they got their car all painted and it looked just like normal?”
“Yes.” I nodded. “It didn’t take long. They had extra paint. And they didn’t let me pay for the damage or the clock repair, they said they wouldn’t allow it.”
Mom laughed. “They don’t know the stubborn streak of the Macdonias!”
I smiled, at last, at that statement. “No, they don’t.”
Mom hugged me one last time and whispered. “Honey, I know you said that it feels like you always do silly things, but the truth is adventures just come your way. God gave you a life of excitement. And you have a bit of sarcasm that can make it even more exciting. And that’s a wonderful thing! Don’t feel like you’re weird or a mistake. Just know you’re God’s special design. He has a unique purpose and a beautiful plan for you. Emily, that makes you unique and beautiful. Don’t ever forget that definition, cause that’s how God sees you.”
“Thank you Mom.” I whispered, as tears warmed my eyes. “You’re right.”
She grinned. “Besides. It could be worse. There could be two Amis instead of one!”
“OH!” I exclaimed. “DON’T get me started!”
She laughed and I giggled back.
“Hey Mom.” I added. “I’m sorry I didn’t just tell you the clock broke. In reality it was all my fault this happened.”
“I forgive you. But you see why your dad and I always taught you kids to come to us first?”
“Yes.” I nodded meekly, wishing I had remembered that. “I do and I did before. But I . . .uh, forgot.”
Right then a sound at the screen door interrupted us. Surprised, we both looked over. In the fading light I saw Ami and . . . another cheetah!
“There are two of her!” I gasped. A meow escaped the throat of one and the other let out a purr as they starred at us.
Just then Abelle stepped up behind them.
“Hey, E.M.M., you home?” She called, though we were sitting in plain sight.
“NO.” I called back as she trotted in.
“Thanks for the greeting.” She cheesed then went on excitedly. “Guess what!?”
“What?” I wondered.
“Well, I’ll save the best news for last. First, Davyn called and said we should come over some time to swim. But without the clock!” We both laughed as I promised,
“But, for the real news! Ami’s having babies!”
“No way.” I breathed.
“Yes.” Abelle innocently chattered on. “And since you seem to like her and Cazadore so much I thought maybe you could have one of them when they’re born. If your Mom lets you.”
I looked at Mom who was shaking her head back and forth as if to say no way.
“Abelle.” I stated. “I can’t take care of myself non-the-less a cheetah.”
“Don’t worry.” She grinned. “They take care of themselves and they never cause trouble.”
“Right.” I answered, but I’d heard the sarcasm in her voice.
With a laugh she noted, “Don’t worry, from now on out were keeping a closer eye on them. They won’t be bothering you as much.”
I grinned at the two cheetahs at the door.
“At least I know how Ami got around so much! It wasn’t just her!”
“Yep. Now you know.”
“Hey thanks again for helping me fix the clock.” I told her.
“Anytime. Besides you needed to met the Welshes. I think they liked you. You’re almost as crazy as they are.”
“Right.” I elbowed my friend with a grin. “And they are almost, well, half as crazy as you are.”
“Thanks a lot!” She exclaimed.
“Speaking of crazy,” She turned to the purring felines on the steps. “I gotta get these two tired cheetahs to their pens.”
“Thanks E.M.M., see you tomorrow.”
“Yep, I’ll try not to burn down the church!”
She grinned. “You won’t. It’s made of stone! Bye E.M.M. and Mrs. Macdonia.”
“See ya Abelle.” We called.
Abelle disappeared into the night and Mom playfully punched my arm. “There are two Amis.” She laughed and I groaned.
“Worse, there’ll be more!”
She just laughed and stood to get some more coffee. “Well, the clocks safely hung so what could go wrong?”
“Don’t ask that Mom.” I demanded. “It’s a question that’s always answered.”
Mom just smiled and gave my head a quick kiss before she headed to the living room to check on the rest of the family. I sat in the kitchen and listened to the quiet sounds of a small town. Cars swept by every so often and the sound of the pole light cut through the air. A new sound, the sound of locusts, called out and the wind wafted in the door.
Inside the lights shone causing the night to blink and pull away from the house. All was calm in our cozy, white kitchen. The sounds of the night were calmly covered by the inside noises. A faint murmur of a Tv episode slipped in form under the door. I could hear The water running through the pipes as Era showered and I heard the sound of Mom’s foot steps as she headed to the living room. But over it all I heard a steady tick . . . tock . . . tick . . . tock . . . tick . . . tock.
It was a sound I knew well. Many nights I had lain, sick on the couch, and been sung to sleep by it. Many Christmases I had listened to it’s sound as we read the Christmas story and opened gifts. Many evenings, quiet, loud, happy, and sad, had i spent with my family, all while it steadily ticked behind us. Just like the days that passed by with insistent sped, so it hummed, untiringly, the seconds of time.
I turned at starred at the old, wooden clock. It continued ticking, the hands moving as if to wave at me. I smiled in return and closed my eyes. The sounds of the evening filled my ears. Some seemed new and some seemed old but one sound seemed both new and old. It was the reminder of time, my life and my adventures. It brought back memories and inspired ideas to do in the future.
I opened my eyes and sighed. I loved that old clock. Heavy. Broken. Fixed. It was a clock of memories. A clock that ticked out minutes of both laughter and pain. A clock that I would always remember. I smiled.
“I’m glad you’re fixed.” I whispered. “But really, I’m glad you broke too. Because if you hadn’t I might not be feeling as happy as I am right now. I might not be noticing that that each little tick-tock and each little moment is fleeting and precious. Even the chaotic moments. Yes, even when we’re broken we can still bring about good. I guess if the Welshes are still my friends after today then they always will be!”
“Well Lord, thank you. For the clock. This town. Those cheetahs. And my friends. This may sound crazy but I love this wacky world. And I love my wacky self. Thanks for making me so uniquely beautiful!”
And the sound of the clock matched the peaceful beating of my heart as I slipped out of the kitchen and into the living room. There I snuggled in amongst my family members and enjoyed the peaceful evening with the people I loved most. After all God had worked it all out. By His miraculous power He had taken the splinters and brokenness of my day and turned it into a wonderful creation of His own art.
And it was a unique and beautiful art.
And so, dear diary, as I end (it is now late and I’m extremely tired after all this writing) I have one more thing to tell you . . .
The moral of the story is this:
Look behind you when backing up because you never know where the microwaves are.
Emily Marie ~