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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wasn't Me

Until our children arrived, the creature had held back, barely venturing a scaly toe over the Netherton threshold.
Even when our three darlings reached advanced childhood, I did not share my suspicions with my husband. No sense alarming him if the threat did not exist. After all, unlike mouse-droppings, which indicate the presence of multiple nocturnal skitterings and nibblings, this invader preferred to work alone.
He worked by day --the impudent gnome -- snatching kitchen gadgets, trampling my freshly seeded garden, shredding and littering, smearing and scuffing. The infiltrator moved with singular speed, always lurking just around the corner, beyond my watch, the pattern of its footprints strikingly familiar to one I'd known in another earlier era.
In those days, my mother was the hunter, tracking her elusive prey's progress from bedroom to bedroom with a Sherlock Holmes intensity, interrogating each of her family members. She held objects in her hands, tainted by the alien's touch. Lifting each item, in turn, she eagle-eyed us. "Do you know where this came from?"
Giant family shrug.
And after each fruitless quest, she would throw up her hands and utter a curse which all mothers voice in their darkest moments. "One day you'll find our what it's like to be your mother!"
Now, it seemed, the creature had hopped the continent and taken up residence in a new culture, a new venue. My household.
And if I could not catch the crafty beast, I could at least identify it.
I cornered my twelve year old son in the family room where he played video games with his two younger siblings.
"Where did this half-eaten plate of nachos come from?"
He shrugged.
Turning to his younger brother, I demanded, "How did this stack of clean clothes get dumped on the floor?"
The boy's big blues eyes swivelled toward his little sister.
"Wasn't me, Wasn't me," she proclaimed.
There are moments of sudden, quiet and terrible insight. Like a hangman's noose, my mother's curse descended over my head, tightening around my neck.
Wasn't Me would always be one step beyond my grasp, just around the corner, in the next room, two minutes ago.
I opened my mouth and uttered my own mother-curse. "One day you'll find out what it's like to be your mother!"
Wasn't Me lurked and snickered from an invisible corner of the ceiling.


  1. Cute story, Dena. If you ever see the movie Rocketman, you will get a refresher course in "it wasn't me!" :D

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  3. Dena,
    This was so delightfully written, it was fun to read.