What the –?

Glad you could join us for the next whimsical episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot W
Photo credit: Jamie MacArthur

“Plummeting is not an altogether unpleasant sensation,” Elliot thought as they fell into the chilly night. “If I didn’t know how it has to end, I might be enjoying it.” He was beyond panic, and the sight of Cassandra tumbling beside him left him feeling only regret.

“I’m sorry, Cassandra,” he cried over the shrieking inevitability of the rising ground, “I never wanted this for us. I love you!”

“I love you, too, Elliot!” Her smile, at once both sad and yearning, warmed him.

Of course, no fall is endless, but the finality of this one took them by surprise.

It was soft.

A cloud of feathers and down ploofed up around them as they bounced slightly in an empty nest perched high in the skeleton of a fire-ravaged tree. Their first moment of bewildered shock gave way to stunned disbelief, quickly to become grateful exuberance.

Without thought or conscious decision, Elliot and Cassandra found themselves wrapped around each other in a kiss of profound ecstasy. A kiss so pure and glorious, angels might have sung its praises.

Instead, two alarming orange eyes abruptly appeared above them as a shrill voice pierced the air.

“I say! Who are you and what are you doing in my bed?”

To be continued…

Previously, on Elliot’s Adventures ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Next time . . .

Today’s twofer from April 29, 2016:

William’s Doll

Baby Jason was Brylan’s baby to help him practice being a good daddy.

Bathtime
Brylan was always this gentle with Baby Jason. (We had a shower but no tub. Yay for the really deep sink!)

Brylan was four when he started kindergarten. He could already read and write (he had addressed the invitations to his fourth birthday party — not that I was proud of that or anything). His teacher, Mrs. Reels, was maybe 33, soft-spoken, kind, and pretty. Or maybe she was pretty because she was soft-spoken and kind. She loved the kids and offered them chances to Show and Tell about anything they chose.

Brylan chose Baby Jason for Show and Tell.

My son and I are alike in many ways, but our differences are as far apart and unlike as the North and South Poles. Or the center of the Milky Way and the Outer Spiral Arm Earth spins in.

For starters, I worked my way up from the crippling shyness that laid me low on Christmas Eve when I was 2-1/2, to the highly functioning introvert I am today, and he has always been an extrovert’s extrovert. This means his happy, people-loving self was thinking how great it was gonna be to be the center of attention, telling everybody all about Baby Jason. At the same time, my cautious, I’d-rather-be-hiding-in-a-Tibetan-cave-reading-James-Joyce-by-candlelight-than-singing-karaoke-drunk-at-a-friend’s-birthday-celebration brain only saw a dozen ways sharing Baby Jason at Show and Tell could end in life-changing humiliation.

So I said:

“That’s a great idea, honey! How about if you also read them William’s Doll?” Me, Mom the Disaster Deflector

Another chance to perform? He was all over that! (Do I know my kid or what?)

William's Doll by Charlotte Zolotow
This book anointed my son with the Cool Factor usually denied boys who share their baby dolls at Show and Tell.

William’s Doll, by Charlotte Zolotow, is the story of a little boy who willingly tries every “boy’s” activity his father suggests in an attempt to divert him from his longing for a baby doll to love, and the wise grandmother who sees and loves William’s heart and knows how to help him.

Mrs. Reels had her own wisdom. Not only did she let Brylan read the story, but she prefaced his sharing by asking how many of his classmates had dolls — including “action figures” like GI Joe or He Man, Master of the Universe.

Every child in the room raised a hand.

Have you ever felt you had to save your child from a pit of quicksand only you could see? Did you consider letting them sink or survive on their own? Even for a moment?

#AtoZChallenge A-to-Z Fictioneers: Interested in original fiction? Here’s a list of writers who are writing stories for the 2017 A to Z Challenge. The author’s link will take you to their “A” post. If you know of any other story writers I can share, please drop the link in the comments!

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Author: Sue Ranscht

I am a writer. Let me tell you a story...

20 thoughts on “What the –?”

  1. I think I’ve already given you my opinion on your son’s doll (I love it to reiterate), and I just have to say what a wonderful teacher. She also took a moment to show the children something that could promote empathy and connection in lumping the GI Joes/action figures with dolls. I’ve never read the book William’s Doll, but I remember the song from when I was in grade school and one of the choir groups did it. I remember I had this truck from a long ago cancelled cartoon called Mask. I don’t remember what it was about, but I remember that red truck that had a seat that came out. It was considered a “boys’ toy,” but my parents never cared about that at least in my respect. I have a feeling they might have had something to say if my older brother had wanted a doll, which is really a shame. We’re both good with children though he decidedly doe not want them, and is perfectly fine being the fun-loving uncle and godfather. At least I’ll won’t want for a babysitter 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mrs. Reels was an excellent teacher. She understood the possible pitfalls and she understood and respected the kids. She didn’t tell them how they should feel. She guided them to recognize how they felt about something that affected them, which enabled them to empathize with someone else. A wise young woman.

      Mask vs. Venom — yes, I’m quite familiar with it. The basic good guys vs. bad guys story with vehicles that changed from one thing to another, like GoBots or Transformers, but the vehicles weren’t alive or robotic, just changeable. Brylan’s favorite was Condor — a lime green motorcycle that changed into a helicopter.

      I was a licensed Child Care Provider for more than 22 years. My contract specifically informed the parents that I would not prevent any child from playing with any available toy, and I would not impose traditional gender roles on any child. Only two of the dads had a problem with that, but the moms loved it, especially for their sons. When Brylan was in high school, I cared for a brother and sister with clean-cut mid-western parents. When the son would ask if he could dye his hair or wear a necklace, the dad would tell him, “Boys don’t dye their hair. Boys don’t wear necklaces.” I finally sat the dad down and said, “You tell him boys don’t do those things, but he sees Brylan doing those things. So what he thinks is, ‘Dad is wrong.’ I think what you need to tell him is that you don’t want him to do those things, and then you’d better be ready to tell him why.” Because, of course parents have every right to set their own rules for their own kids at home. They just have to be clear about the reasons for the rules.

      Hey — every kid ought to have a fun-loving uncle who can babysit every now and then. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remembered the Mask part, but didn’t recall the entire title! That’s exactly what it was 🙂

        Whenever I hear “Boys don’t…” or “Girls don’t…” I just groan because I know what follows will be something I’ll want to argue with.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sometimes it’s enough to say, “Sure they do.” But if an argument is what it takes to dispel ignorance and sexism, I say argue with reason and calm from a position strength because you’re right. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    1. And being their first, I might shed two tears. lol

      Thanks, I was kind of partial to him, but I didn’t want to be one of those parents who never stops talking about how amazing their kid is. He was very lucky to have Mrs. Reels in his life at the beginning of his school career.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! It’s serendipitous. Elliot’s Adventures actually began 3-1/2 years ago, and the twofer is a year old but never meant to go with anything else. Sadly, he has not. He tells me it will happen, but I think a girlfriend is prerequisite. Right now, she’s nowhere in sight. Sigh.

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  2. Whew – I’m glad Elliot and Cassandra could celebrate with an angels-singing-praises kind of kiss. Because now…oh dear!

    Sink baths, Brylan, Baby Jason, William’s Doll, kind teachers, and disaster-averting Moms all add up to a jumbo dose of fabulousity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You make me laugh, Deborah. Thank you! You know what they say about putting your hero/heroine up in a tree… next come the flying rocks — or owls. lol

      I admire your perseverance getting through a jumbo dose of anything!

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    1. Aww, thanks, Diana! The pairings have been fun for me, too. I am pleased to tell you that Brylan has never adopted the “if this fix doesn’t work, get a bigger hammer” philosophy that many men I know have. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “No fall is endless.” wisdom and kisses rolled up in ploofed up feathers. I sigh and sink in your magic.
    I’d like to give Mrs. Reels a hug if I could. And “she was pretty because she was soft-spoken and kind” make the best kind of teachers. Don’t you think?
    I’ve had and still have moments when I wish my children would see the world the way I do (just a little bit, so they’ll be safe). But so far (mine are 20 and 17 years old) they’ve proven me wrong every time.
    I think their soul compasses are set for their journeys like ours are for ours. We’ve done okay, they will too. This is a mother’s prayer, hope, wish–whatever you call it. I’m sure you get what I mean.
    W is for Warp and Weft

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Arti, your comments always show such kind thoughtfulness, I am certain you have taught your children how to read their soul compasses with subtle understanding of the world. You’re right, they will be fine and they’ll do well in life. Thank you for sharing time with me here.

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