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Night Adventure

To solve the Case of the Missing Headband, the twins are introduced to the concepts of “retracing your steps” and “spread out a little bit.” Success!

The Case of the Second Missing Headband is, however, a night caper. There is no way around the need to “retrace your steps”, but the kids decide to chuck “spread out a little bit” in favor of “stick very close to Daddy.” Good thing, too…

It’s very dark out there. Papa suggests flashlights. Fisher finds a toy one that glows more than lights. Cory, though, pulls the strap of a miner’s light around her head. It blazes. Daddy suggests that they wear “happy” things on their head, like his lucky ball cap. In case there are any witches out there. “Daddy, there are no such things as witches!” Well, just in casers. She wears pink mouse ears. He chooses his black cowboy hat.

Jackets on, the search party alights. They scoffed at all of Daddy’s we’d-better-be-carefulling and who-knows-what’s-out-thereing…back in the safety of the house. But, out in the chilly dark, they insist on holding Daddy’s hands while they try to maneuver their lights with the others. Once or twice walking down the street, Daddy stops. Just stops.

C: Daddy, why…
D (gently): Shhhhhhh.

Daddy listens intensely, looking up a few times.

F (after everyone is moving again): Those witches won’t come on our street, though, because of the Christmas lights, right, Daddy?
D: You think so, Fisher.
C: Yah. They don’t like those lights, Fisher.

They jabber on. The gang is approaching a very dark patch. It’s the walkway along the grade school fields. No lights at all. “Guys, we’re leaving the Christmas lights behind now.” They clutch Daddy’s hands with renewed energy. But, Daddy has a plan. He gets them to release his hands and press a little in front, you know, so that we can see where we are stepping better. A bit behind them, hands free, Daddy searches his pockets. Dang! Only about six or seven coins.

F: Cory, you shine your light that way to show the ground, and I’ll use mine for the shadows.
C: Mine is brighter, so it could show everything.
F: Mine is better at the shadows, Cory, so…
A sound, like coins tinkling on asphalt, unnaturally loud, comes from outside the circle of light up ahead. They jump!
D: What was that?
F (everyone stopped, shining lights around): That sounded like coins, Daddy.
D: It did?
C: I don’t see anything.
D: It sounded more like something breaking…
F: Something broke?
D: That’s what it sounded like.
C: I’ll shine my light. Let’s go.

They grab Daddy’s hands again, pressing forward, speculating about what that noise was, including whether a witch dropped an ornament from her broom high up above. Maybe it shattered on the concrete. They are confounded that they couldn’t see any of the pieces.

D: Okay, we’re past the dark part.
F: We’re doing a good job of retracing our steps, right, Daddy?
D: Right. Now, it’s time to spread out.

Pause.

C (squeezing Daddy’s hand): Daddy, can we stick together?
F (also squeezing): Oh, Cory! That’s a good idea because four eyes are better than two, right, Daddy?
D: Do you mean six eyes?
F: Oh! Yah! Thanks, Daddy.
D: Well, together we have six eyes whether we spread out or stick together. Don’t you want to spread out?

They want to stick together. Cory spies the lost headband on the bench. As they rush the final three feet to collect it, Daddy quickly scoops up any rocks within reach. On the walk back home, the headband perched on top of Daddy’s ball cap, three or four loud bangs ring out from the dark area around them. “That was a squirrel!” “A pine cone just fell!” After Daddy deploys the last rock, they think “it was an acorn falling,” seemingly super confident that nothing supernatural is amiss…until…

F (singing quietly): Raindrops on roses, and…
F/D/C: …whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles, and…

…for the rest of the way home. When everyone reenters the circle created by Papa’s lights, they pronounce the mission a success.

F: Daddy, can we do another “night adventure”?
C: Yah, can we go find another headband?

She holds the headlamp flashlight up to her nose, “like Rudolph.”

No Pressure

Tomorrow is the Family Christmas. Aunt Tammie has asked what Fisher Bug would like. So, Daddy posed the question to him a few days ago.

F: Can I please have one of those er, uh, eh wands that Harry uses to make those lights come out and eh, uh, er, just say those spells so I could just do that. That’s what I really want, Daddy. I really want one of those.
D: Well, that’s aiming high, Fisher. I’d like one of those wands, too.
F: Does Santa have one of those wands, Daddy?
D: I don’t know if Santa does, but Sunday is the Family Christmas. Maybe you might…I don’t know…
F: Are there presents at the Family Christmas?
D: Yes, silly, and…
F: And, I might get a Harry wand?
D: I don’t know.
F: Will it actually make those spells happen?
D: We’ll see.

No pressure, Aunt Tammie, no pressure…

(All that stuff after “…, but Sunday is…”? Daddy said no such thing.)

Recognizing Santa

Uncle Glenn’s beard was always, ever so slightly, just a touch, round the edges, um, slipping.

Before they were too young to notice. But, last year, despite Santa’s best efforts to dig down and deepen that voice, Cory noticed that “Santa Claus sounds a lot like Uncle Glenn.”

To prolong the myth a little longer, this year will be the first without a pre-Christmas Eve home visit from “Santa Claus”. Better not to risk it.