The moon was playing tricks again. Today he had the company of the clouds too. Little S lay in her bed, watching this interesting hide and seek game outside her window. The moon light played on the floor of her tiny tree house, filtering in through the thatched roof. It was her friday night special, where she could sleep in her very own tree house for an hour before bed time.
The tree house was her birthday gift from Mummy and Papa. Building it had been a fun family activity for six months. The tree house had been built next to the huge window near the entrance of their ground floor flat in a huge housing complex.
She had loved every minute of building it from scratch. Specially the green cardboard leaves, that she had been allowed to cut and paint under the watchful eyes of the elders.
From her Crow’s Nest, she could keep a daily vigil on the main gate, right across the garden. And blow her color ful trumpet as soon as she saw Mummy or Papa driving in.
Tonight, she spent most of her precious hour, watching the moon light make magic in her tiny room. The soft summer breeze was cool, and the curtains of the tiny windows shimmered like fairy wings. Could she ever thank Mummy enough for making those lovely curtains out of her fairy costume from her play group days? She didn’t think so.
They reminded her of Mummy so much. S wondered when would Mummy reach home. She had promised to be back before S woke up on Saturday morning.
May be she should wait up and give Mummy a surprise. Sleepy eyes twinkled brightly. Oooh yes! That would be fun! She and Mummy could spend some precious quiet moments before her baby sister and the rest of the house hold smothered her after her long trip. S flew out of the bed, and tidied up the room in a jiffy. Pretty fast for an 8 year old too.
S lay out Mummy’s favorite blanket and a fresh box of choco chips that she had ‘borrowed’ from the kitchen help. She knew Mummy would be too tired to read any books, but she eagerly wanted Mummy to look at her scrapbook.
The scrapbook had been Mummy’s idea to keep S busy in her absence. Mummy knew that it would have been impossible to keep her spirited daughter bound to screens for long. So she had suggested that S make a scrap book of all the things she found interesting during her many walks in the garden, and relate them to Mummy. S had spent hours making it. She wondered which page Mummy would like the most?
As she cuddled up in the Crow’s Nest, droopy eyes refused to stay awake any longer. She thought may be she should bookmark her favorite page, so that Mummy could go straight to it.
Waiting required patience and the will power to stay awake. Though she had loads of the former, the latter truely evaded her tonight. Before she knew it, she was nodding off, dreaming of her favorite scrapbook page. She was so tired that she didn’t hear the rumble of Mummy’s car as she drove in later that night.
Mummy was eager to meet S and so she quietly went up the treehouse to the Crow’s Nest, where she knew she would find her little princess. And sure enough, her heart skipped a beat, catching sight of the tiny figure curled on top of a blanket. Stiffling a giggle, Mummy bundled her up and tucked her in to the soft weather beaten couch, which was S’s bed.
As she turned to go, she caught sight of the scrapbook, about which she had had so many long and serious discussions over the cross country callls every night for the past fortnight.
She had wondered about what S would choose to be her most prized possession from her walks that was supposed to remind S of her. Without thinking, she picked it up, and gently opened the bundle of chart papers clumsily bound together with strings of colored wool. The book mark caught her eye, and she opened the page immediately.
The tension was as palpable as if she was opening her very own letter of apparaisal at work. One look at the object, and she was sobbing like her little baby girl, as if there was no tomorrow. The little one had run around the large garden, searching for Mummy’s favorite earings, that had annoyingly disappeared the day before she had left for her first long trip.
S had been down in the dumps all day, that day, searching fevreshly fot them. She knew Mummy had wanted to wear them to work the next morning. They were simple imitation earings, but then, they had been Mummy’s special return gift for S’s birthday from S.
So that’s what had been the most precious memory of Mummy for her little daughter. She quietly closed the scrapbook and went back to the sleeping figure in the couch, and soon cuddled in beside her. A sleepy face turned over to kiss her wet cheek and mumble in her sleep. And Mummy knew she was home, even as she hummed their favorite lullaby and gently caressed her daughter’s hair to a happy deep sleep.