Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)
By Kristen Hester
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I felt a sudden wetness on my neck and my body stiffened at my husband’s kiss. “Hey, sweetie.” Todd’s tone communicated exactly what was on his mind.
In the background, Barney sang about love, but I wasn’t feeling it. “I haven’t had a shower today. I stink.”
He opened a cabinet door and removed a cup from the shelf. “You look good to me.”
I rolled my eyes. “Whatever.”
“Is it a bad thing that I find my WIFE attractive?” He didn’t wait for an answer as he headed toward the family room.
After the kids were in bed that night, I folded clothes and watched the news. Todd placed a hand on my shoulder. “Coming to bed?” I recognized and ignored the hope in his voice.
“I want to finish the laundry.”
“Well.....goodnight, then.” He turned to leave, but a reporter’s words caught our attention.
“Spring Break has always meant beaches, bikinis and beer for many college students, but this year, for many girls, it also means a chance at fame. Jack Franklin, infamous creator of low-budget video 'Girls Gone Crazy' will be on the beaches, ready to film the girls as they bare their chest....” Crowds of screaming women lifting their shirts appeared on the screen.
I clicked off the TV. “Disgusting!”
Todd shook his head. “Remind me never to let Grace go to the beach for Spring Break.” He retreated to our bedroom, but I remained on the couch.
I’m always amazed that the weather can so profoundly affect my attitude, but the next morning both dramatically improved. The previous day’s Spring shower seemed to give the landscape a good cleaning resulting in blue skies, bright green grass and fuchsia azaleas. That afternoon while Caleb napped and Grace was at ballet class, I took my Bible and prayer journal outside. As I prayed, I was convicted about my bad attitude the day before, and especially for dismissing my husband’s needs. I giggled as I contemplated ways to make up for yesterday’s aloofness. Today, it felt like Spring.
I was on the patio when I heard Todd’s car pull into the driveway. He’d picked Grace up on his way home from work and she sat in the backseat with her head down, apparently reading a book. My handsome husband smiled at me. A gush of love and Springtime exuberance overwhelmed me. Without thinking, I and impulsively lifted my shirt to flash him. Unfortunately, just as I bared myself, Todd looked down...and Grace looked up. She saw the display that had been intended for Todd, but he missed the entire show.
Grace’s eyes widened and her head tilted in confusion. Mortified and embarrassed, I hurried to the laundry room to avoid her inquisitive questions, but she found me. “Why did you do that, Mommy?”
I folded a towel to avoid her eyes. “I was just...playing a joke...on your daddy.” I stammered. Immediately I remembered the news story from the night before. “But you should never lift your shirt like that.”
“Well, is it right or wrong?”
“I was just being funny...for daddy.”
“Sin is NOT funny.” Her precociousness was annoying.
“What’s going on?” Todd stuck his head into the laundry room.
“Mommy did something bad,” Grace tattled. Her disappointment was obvious.
“It’s not bad if you’re married.” I refuted. I turned to Todd. “I was trying to flirt with you and I...um....flashed you when you were in the car, but you missed it.”
Todd’s eyes widened and a grin broke across his face. “When? Just now?”
“Stop smiling. Grace saw it. She’s upset.”
Todd spoke to Grace. “We’re married, so it’s okay. Just don’t do it until you’re married and then ONLY for your husband. Now, go get ready for dinner.” Grace seemed skeptical, but she obediently left the room.
As soon as she was gone, Todd turned to me. “Now, what exactly did you do? Show me, please.”
“You missed your chance. I caught a little Spring fever, but I’m all better now.”
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