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Love You Bunches
by Cynthia Bugert
09/04/12
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Mariah tip-toed over to the counter and stretched to grab the silver tube. She pulled off the lid and turned the base to reveal the beautiful crimson. Then she grinned as she realized that she'd finally found the perfect ending to her masterpiece. She quietly walked into her closet and pulled on the door behind her.

It had taken Mariah several days to be able to find all the things she needed for her masterpiece and she was excited to have the final color in her hand. She could hardly wait to finish. She sat on her knees in front of her work and studied what was already there, making sure it was just right. Just as she reached toward the picture to add the final touches, a voice found its way to her ears. She dropped the lipstick, exited the closet quickly and closed the door. "Coming Mommy!" She hollered as she ran from her room.

"Mariah, I was pretty certain I'd left my lipstick on the counter earlier. Have you seen it?"

"No Mommy. Maybe you forgot where you left it."

"Okay kiddo," Mommy responded as she fixed the bow in her young daughter's hair, "I guess I'll look around. Please keep your eyes open for it. I just bought it yesterday and really like the color."

Mariah was rocking back and forth from her heels to her toes, anxious to get back to work, "Yes Mommy. Can I go now?"

"Yes you may. Lunch will be ready in about ten minutes." She smiled as she wondered about her daughter's excitement.

Mariah almost flew back to her bedroom, closing the door behind her. She knew it was now or never. As she opened the closet door, her masterpiece stared her in the face and she was overwhelmed, "It's so beautiful." A full minute later she realized she was still standing there staring and gently smacked herself in the cheek, "Wake up, Mariah! And get busy!"

The ten minutes went by and Mommy's voice came again, "Mariah, lunch is ready."

"Coming Mommy!" Three more gentle strokes and the work was finished. She stood back, crossed her arms on her chest and gave it a good look one more time. "Perfect," she told herself and headed toward the door.

As she walked into the kitchen, she discreetly placed the lipstick under the edge of the cabinets where she would "find" it at an opportune time. Then she climbed into her chair and put her napkin in her lap. "Yay, macaroni and cheese! Thank you Mommy!!"

"You're welcome sweet-heart. I love you tons!"

"Well, I ... " she stopped mid-sentence, smiled an excited smile, and ran to her bedroom.

Mommy shook her head and laughed, "That child does the craziest things. I never know what she's going to do next." Just a second later she saw her baby girl walking toward her carrying what appeared to be an old pizza box.

Mariah shouted excitedly, "Love you bunches!" And with that, she flipped the box around to reveal the most beautiful bunch of flowers Mommy had ever seen. They sat down on the couch and Mommy listened as Mariah excitedly told the story of how the fruit loops, gummy bears, juice box straws, animal cookies, cotton candy, and pretty red lipstick all came together to make this wonderful surprise.

Mommy pulled her little girl into her lap and hugged her tightly, "Thank you, my precious little girl. I will treasure this sweet tasty bunch forever."








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