I always hate when you’re invites to parties where you’re the only kid or individual under the age of thirty and over the age of ten. Why, do people invite kids, knowing full well they’ll be bored stiff? Occasionally, they provide some form of lackluster entertainment, but these folks are far and few in between.
Stacy Mossbrucker invited us to a summer party of some kind in August of 2004. The party was all ladies and children under the age of four. The usual scenario played out: with nothing to do I shadowed the ladies and was told to go away and find something to do. Dejected, I went and sat on the mocha brown suede couch just out off sight and watched the orange sun sink below the trees.
My trick didn’t fool Stacy would had a daughter my age. She came out and gently told me that Lexi wouldn’t mind if I went in her room while she was at her dad’s house.
I tromped down the stairs with low expectations not knowing it would change my life. I opened the door and slouched in. That’s when I saw them; Stacy had said I could take them out. As soon as the door opened two fluffy peach colored things crowded the door out their cage and began clamoring to be let out. They shook the latch with grabby pink hands.
I stared in awe for a moment. They reminded me of two furry cream-sickles. I had never seen anything more adorable. Their pink noses twitched and quivered as they analyzed the newcomer in their realm. I slid open the latch and lifted them from their cage to Lexi’s bed. They were incredibly soft. Their fur was about half an inch long and shining. I’ve felt few animals this silky. I then took a yogurt treat from the bag beside the cage. From the second the bravest took the drop from my hand I knew I wanted some for my own.
Two months late I still had not forgotten.
That year my birthday was on a crisp Sunday in mid-October. It was the kind of day where you really understood the reason the last day of the week is called a ‘sun’day. The weather was the classic stereotypical fall: no clouds, frosty grass, fiery leaves. It was a real shame that we had to go to church.
I was ready and dressed promptly at ten. I wrestled my little sister’s feet into her shoes and helped her into her coat. We waited. Come ten after I began to think we would be late. My mom came out dressed and ready. We milled around not doing much. I didn’t want to be impertinent and ask what my parents were doing. I continued my aimless pacing. Ten-fifteen, ten-twenty…Mass started at ten-thirty, what we were doing?
At last Dad entered the living room. I missed the conspiratorial glance he shot to Mom.
“Kids, go wash your hands.”
“Really Dad? You mean it?!”
Yes, he really did want us to wash our hands. We’re pretty big on hygiene in this family. You probably think I’m crazy at this point; I’ll explain.
For months I had been pestering my parents with facts about those lovely creatures in the Mossbrucker’s basement. I knew that before you handled them you were supposed to...