Popcorn, jelly beans, kitties
“Mom, where is my pink shirt? I want to show Jenny.” Casey called downstairs.
“Did you put it in the dirty clothes?” Her mother called back. The silence upstairs was her answer. “I can’t wash your clothes if you don’t put them in the hamper Casey. Put it in and I’ll get it the next time I do wash.”
“What?” Casey had already gone back to her room. Andrea Reeves shook her head at her eight year old daughter. She looked out the back window and saw Jenny’s mom pulling in the driveway.
“Casey, they’re here!” She called. When Casey didn’t answer she went and yelled up the stairs. “CASEY!”
“I’m coming!” Casey threw her door open and ran down the stairs. She got to the kitchen just as her best friend Jennifer got to the back door. They squealed when they saw one another and hugged. Both began to talk at the same time. Jenny’s mother Celeste came in behind her.
“Did you bring the movie?” Casey asked Jenny.
“I totally did, I got some CD‘s too.”
“Awesome! We can dance!”
“Hey, did you hear that Kathy‘s cat had kitties?”
“I know, they‘re so cute I saw them after school!”
“I think they‘re going to give them away…”
“Mama said I could get one when they’re ready.”
“She did? Mama,” said Jenny, eyes wide and bottom lip puffed out, “can I get a kitten too?” She clasped her hands together, begging.
“What about Mr. Hobbs?” Celeste asked.
“Mr. Hobbs isn‘t cute anymore, he just sleeps all the time.”
“Well sorry Jen, the answer is no. We already have a cat.” Said Celeste.
Jenny frowned but Casey took her by the arm and off they went. The girls immediately launched into a discussion about which actor they like the best, and who was cutest and so on. The girl’s voices trailed off as they went up stairs to Casey’s room. Andrea and Celeste looked at each other for a second and burst out laughing.
“Did we sound like that?” Andrea asked.
“We must have. We’ve been friends since we were their age.” Celeste answered. They both laughed again. “I don’t think they even stopped talking to breathe!”
“Well I’ll stop long enough for a glass of wine.” Celeste said, smiling.
“You got it. How long can you stay?” Andrea asked. It was almost seven.
“Oh I don’t have to be back any particular time, just to get the twins to bed. Bob will let them stay up all night if I’m not there.”
The two women shared a look of longsuffering. “I know what you mean.”
They heard a thump from upstairs, and then the girls screamed and laughed. Celeste looked longingly up the stairs.
“Remember when we were that carefree? When all that mattered in the world was who was sleeping over whose house this weekend?”
“Yea,” said Andrea, wistfully. She put some popcorn in the microwave then pulled out a bowl to put it in. Next she pulled the kool-aid out of the fridge. “I love this new stuff; it’s totally colorless so they can spill all they want it doesn’t stain.” She looked at the pitcher and thought out loud. “This sure would have saved my mom a lot of aggravation.”
“Hey. Do you remember that time…?” Celeste started.
“The kool-aid? In my bedroom?”
“…that we spilled the cherry kool-aid in your bedroom?” Both women laughed, talking at the same time like their daughters did. Andrea pulled a box of flavored crackers out of the cupboard and poured some into a dish.
“Ooh. Chicken in a Biscuit, huh? Digging out the good stuff.” Celeste teased. “Why don’t you check yourself into the Betty Crocker clinic and learn how to bake a cake?”
Andrea nearly laughed till she cried.
“I just might, you idiot! Do you want some dip? Um, I’ve got ranch, and I can make some French onion right quick,” said Andrea, rummaging in the fridge.
“Nah, don‘t go to any trouble. I just ate a little while ago.”
Andrea got the popcorn out of the microwave and poured it into a bowl. She hollered up to the girls, telling them to come down for snacks. They ran down the stairs, racing each other to get to the kitchen counter first.
“Girls!” Celeste raised her voice a little. “You know better than that!”
“Sorry Mom,” said Jenny.
“Me too, sorry.” Said Casey.
“Here,” said Andrea. “Take the poopcorn and kool-aid…”
Both girls screamed with laughter.
“Mom you said poop!”
“Poopcorn, popcorn, whatever.” Andrea laughed. It was a silly slip of the tongue. “Take your stuff and skedaddle.”
Jenny turned to her mom and smiled oh so sweetly.
“Mama? Best-mommy-in-the-whole-wide-world, do you have anything sweet we can have? Gummy bears or some jelly beans?”
Celeste pointed over her shoulder at her car with the cracker in her hand. “In the glove box…and don’t tell your brothers!” She yelled as the girls ran outside to the car. They came back in, grabbed the popcorn and drinks and went into the living room. Andrea and Celeste watched them settle on the couch to watch their favorite movie, “Grease.” After that all they could see was the top of their heads. They watched silently, each remembering when they had been the little girls, parked on the couch watching the very same movie – giggling about John Travolta and later, about boys and clothes and hair. Casey saw them standing in the doorway and begged them to come in and sit.
“Come on, please? Pretty please?” Both girls begged.
Andrea looked at Celeste who shrugged her shoulders, like whatcha-gonna-do? She arched an eyebrow…and they raced for the couch!