Narrated by Madeleine Bright. Lillith
are 42 years old, Madeleine
I live with my mom, my dad, and my cat, Snowbell, on Endeavor Lane in Simdale Valley. Our house only has one bathroom and it doesn’t have a dining room. Mom says we aren’t going to have any more kids in our family. She and dad need their office for work, so if we had a baby I guess the baby would have to share with mom and dad, like Snowbell does.
We live across the street from Mr. Jones, who owns the bakery, and Yuki Ono, who is in my class at school.
My dad’s favorite thing about our house is the outside. He likes the porch and the back yard.
My favorite place is my room, where I can read to my heart’s content, with no one bugging me. Except Snowbell, who loves to curl up with me while I read.
My mom and dad both love parties. I don’t know how they ended up having me, because I am not a party person.
Well, I guess I do fit in some, because my mom is a journalist and my dad is a teacher, and they both do a lot of writing for their living. Dad and mom both work from home. Dad is a teacher through the Peninsula State virtual school, and mom writes all kinds of articles for the Port Prominence Breeze. She writes obituaries, horoscopes, sports stories, local interest, and sometimes, “real journalism,” editorials.
My mom and I also both love to have things clean and orderly, so I help when we are getting ready for a party, which is just about every week.
Mom made a cake for our New Year’s party this year. She could have bought one from the bakery, but she’d rather make it. Her cakes are the best!
Before the New Years’ party both my parents talked to me about being sociable.
I asked my mom if Yuki was coming. Yuki lives right across from me, but unlike kids in stories, we are not soul mates. Yuki is my foil character. I like reading; she likes playing sports. I like quiet solitude; she likes stirring things up. We are both smart in school, but she doesn’t have test anxiety. I would like Yuki if she would give me a chance, but she never slows down enough to talk. Mainly, she just tells me to “stop being depressing,” and “lighten up.”
Mom said the Onos were not coming to the party, and she said Isaiah’s family was coming, which was good news. Mom doesn’t know it, but I am in love with Isaiah Gavigan. Anytime I am going to be around him, I look forward to, even though I know he isn’t going to kiss me at New Year’s this year. But I can imagine, when we are in high school, him kissing me when they play Auld Lang Syne.
New Year’s Eve was cold, but not freezing, and all the stars were out. My dad made a fire in the outdoor fire place when it was time for people to start arriving.
He let me test a sparkler to make sure they worked.
Aunt Elise and Uncle James
were first to arrive. They aren’t my real aunt and uncle, but they’ve been dad’s friends since he was my age, and they always come help out when we have a party.
Soon all the grown-ups were busy talking. Isaiah’s mom was telling Aunt Elise, Miss Bruty, and Miss Redbird about what happened when the latest baby was born, and that sometimes she thinks Isaiah’s dad spends more time with Yuki’s mom, than with with her. Mr. Gavigan is a nurse at the Simdale Clinic.
I had been looking forward to telling Isaiah a secret, all afternoon. I knew he would want to hear about this.
When mom and dad were setting up for the party, I tried the fruit punch.
Isaiah wanted to know what it tasted like. I told him, it made my throat burn a little, and it wasn’t very good.
I told him, not to tell anybody. Harrison, Uncle James and Aunt Elise’s little boy who is only 4, was standing behind us, but I don’t think he heard me.
After a while, the grown-ups started doing silly line dances. My mom and Isaiah’s mom were really into it.
I tried, a little bit, when no one was looking, but I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right. I don’t know how people tell if they are dancing the right way or not.
I was so glad when dad said it was time for fireworks.
Every year, dad and Uncle James put on a fireworks show.
Aunt Elise really doesn’t like the fireworks; she doesn’t feel like it is safe.
Monday morning, it was time to go back to school. Dad hugged me goodbye and I trudged off. I would be happy about school if we didn’t have to do long division.
At least long division gave me a good reason to be in my room during the college football playoff party, but even that was not enough consolation.
Eventually, I got tired of working on my math and went downstairs to get some snacks. The grown-ups were having a disagreement.
Isaiah’s mom and Uncle James were cheering for opposite teams. Dad came in the kitchen with me. I bet he didn’t want to take sides since he was hosting the party. He always tries to get along with everyone.
Helen, Aunt Elise and Uncle James’ little girl, was hugging Snowbell. I don’t think Snowbell liked it, so I rescued her and took her back to my room.
The next morning, we had a great surprise. It had snowed all night, and we got a snow day! Usually I would want to go to school, but this was exciting for two reasons. First, no long division today! I already finished my homework! and Second, no parties, so we would have a quiet day at home. I could snuggle up with a book all day if I wanted!
So many technical problems with this update!!! First, a whole play session without any screen caps to show for it (thought the screen cap program was running but it wasn’t) , then couldn’t get the game to start, then google + wasn’t uploading my pictures correctly. But finally, here it is.
Madeleine autonomously went out and tried the punch…I didn’t know kids did that.