She smiled as the sounds of girl­ish gig­gles and laugh­ter fil­tered through the house. Her daugh­ters were hav­ing friends over for a sleep­over and were thor­oughly en­joy­ing them­selves. She was glad every­thing was go­ing so beau­ti­fully. First, they’d had a princess tea party, com­plete with cos­tumes, china cups and pe­tit fours. Then they’d watched a movie play­ing off a bed­sheet in the back­yard, and shrieked in mock ter­ror at the tires in the yard set to look like al­li­ga­tors (last mon­th’s pro­ject). Now they were lean­ing out of the teepees she had arranged in their bed­room, gaz­ing at the stars on the ceil­ing and dis­cussing which boy they thought was cutest.

Yes, it had been a full and busy day, but much had been ac­com­plished. The fin­ish­ing touches had been added to the stairs, so that they now looked like book spines rather than just plain stairs. Her son’s room still needed some work done on it, but she had added the book­shelf dec­o­rated like a green pipe from the Mario-verse. To­mor­row she would start paint­ing the tun­nels through the Bowser’s Cas­tle play area.

The last rays of the set­ting sun winked off the mar­bles she had set in the gar­den fence, and she smiled a good-night at the golf ball la­dy­bugs she had placed to add some charm—

“It’s late. Let’s go to bed.” Her hus­band’s voice cut through her bliss, and with a sigh she headed to­ward the bed­room. As she trudged down the bar­ren hall­way in their apart­ment, she re­flected on how quickly the evening had gone by. But she’d get through to­mor­row’s chores of house­work like she al­ways did, and soon the evening would come and her child would go to sleep. Then she could again re­lax as she scoured Pin­ter­est for tips and tricks, ideas and pro­jects. And then off to bed again, to dream of all that she would never do.

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