WORDS TO USE: picture – cinnamon – snake – gloves – squishy


Aggie scrunched her nose and studied the picture in her new book. “Mommie, what’s dis?”

Her mother stopped working on stirring some stuff in a bowl. She gave a gentle smile as she looked at Aggie across the big island where she sat on a stool reading.

Well, Aggie was only three and a half. No, almost four! She couldn’t really figure out many of the words on the pages. But she understood pictures, except this one.

She planted her finger on what looked kind of like a garden hose, but not. “It’s got eyes.”

“That’s a snake, Sweetie.”

Mommie walked around to her and lightly stroked a hand over Aggie’s curly red hair, which always made Aggie feel good. Mommie always told her how much she loved her when she did that. Her tummy tightened as she waited for the familiar words.

Her mother leaned down and kissed the top of her head. “Have I told you how much I love you?”

Aggie grinned up at Mommie, a squishy warm feeling moving through her. She spread her arms wide. “This much.”

Her mother stepped back and spread her arms wide and spun in a circle. “This much and more.”

Aggie giggled. “Sooooo much!”

“And more.”

Aggie looked back at the book. “Tessa said snakes are Ewy. You should run, run, run fast away from ‘em.”

Her mother laughed. “Your big sister is sometimes right about things. Sometimes wrong.”

Aggie wasn’t sure about that. Tessa was seven. She knew lots of stuff.

Her mother reached down and turned the page. Now the snake was using its nose to push a pair of gloves to a woman working in her garden. “This snake is being helpful. The lady forgot to put on her garden gloves to protect her hands.”

That made Aggie smile and look up at her mother. “Like me! I’m your helper. Right, Mommie?”

“Yes, you are.” She pointed at the little can of cinnamon sitting near the bowl. “You handed that to me when I needed it.”

Aggie sat up taller at the praise. “And I taste the cookies for you. Make sure they’s good.”

“Cookies? What cookies? What am I missing out on?”

Aggie jumped down from the stool and raced toward her father. He’d been gone for a week on business, and she’d missed him. “Pick me up, Daddy! Pick me up!”

He scooped her up, and she hugged him as tight as she could. She loved the way he hugged her back, the way he smelled. And that reminded her of what she and Mommie were doing. “We’s makin’ snick-her… doods special for you.”

He flashed a crooked smile. “Snickerdoodles. My favorite.”

Her mother walked over to them and joined in the group hug. Aggie sighed happily. This was her favoriteist thing in the whole world. Snuggling with Mommie and Daddy.

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