Don’t miss chapters one through six!
Despite her in-laws’ surprise appearance and the impulsive purchase of a gigantic dead fish, the vacation was a success. Electronic devices were mostly neglected, everyone returned home tanned and rested. Heather and Michael even held hands in baggage claim.
However, by 7 am the following morning, any sign of relaxation has escaped the household. Dylan can’t find his backpack and begins to cry.
“Don’t be such a baby,” Michael says angrily as he rushes out, late to work.
Ava bites Kaitlin who in turn pushes her. Sandwiches have to be made but there isn’t bread. At 7:11am, Heather suddenly remembers that she’s driving carpool for Sandy Pettigrew, who is vacationing in Paris, without kids. The milk smells sour so breakfast cereal is eaten dry.
Squeaking tennis shoes down the hall, doors slamming and Heather is out the door with all three children.
By 8:03, Dylan and Kaitlin are back at school and peace is momentarily restored. Ava, still on Mexico time, is asleep in her car seat. Heather, about to turn up the hill to her home to finish unpacking for everyone, resentfully remembers that she needs to pick up the dog. Marigold is boarding at the vet’s office in Malibu. Damn dog, she thinks, and hopes that Sandy Pettigrew is having a miserable time in Paris.
Heather sits in bumper-to-bumper traffic on PCH and curses under her breath like a crazy person. She’s angry that she’s taken the vacation. Reentry into daily life is too shocking to the system, she decides. Maybe it’s best to never to go anywhere.
She hopes Marigold has had a bath. There’s nothing worse than a smelly old pug, so she decides to call ahead to make sure. However, it’s then she realizes that she doesn’t have her phone. Has she forgotten it at home? She doesn’t remember packing it. Did she leave it at the hotel in Mexico? What will she do without her i-calendar? How will she know who has what practice and which tutor each day? Her hands are sweaty as she grips the steering wheel. Traffic clears and she speeds ahead. She wishes she could forget about Marigold and instead turn around to check on the whereabouts of her iphone. But she’s already at the vet’s. She parks by the front door and leaves Ava in the car.
“I’m here for Marigold,” Heather says to a sleepy looking receptionist.
The receptionist’s eyes widen and she sits up straight in her seat. “I’ll have to get Dr. Morris,” she says.
“I’m in a hurry, just bring the dog out, my baby’s in the car,” Heather says and glances back out the large picture window. Her white Escalade is dirty and needs to be washed. She adds that to her mental to-do list.
“Please wait here,” the receptionist says and rushes down the hall.
Through the office window Heather can see into her car. Ava is still asleep. Heather could be arrested for leaving her baby like this. She never left Dylan or Kaitlin unattended in a parked car. She decides that Dr. Morris will have to bring Marigold out.
Heather waits outside and listens to the rush of traffic on PCH. When she gets home she will put Ava in her crib and look for her cell phone. If it’s not there then she will have a big problem. The babysitter is supposed to arrive at noon. Heather will go to the grocery store and then to the dry cleaner.
“I’ve been trying to reach you all morning,” Dr. Morris says, interrupting Heather’s thoughts. The doctor is a kind round-faced woman who looks unusually serious this morning in her white lab coat and clogs.
“I think my iphone is Mexico,” Heather says, feeling irritated.
A large truck drives by and kicks up a cloud of dirt and gravel.
Dr. Morris puts her hand on Heather’s shoulder. “ Marigold passed away this morning.”
Don’t miss chapters one through six!
Note: The ModernMom Chronicles is a fictional novel. The story is not a personal blog, nor is it based on existing people or events.