When we moved here, we'd moved from England and neither of us knew anyone.
I was working in a town about 40 miles away for the first 10 months we were here. I hated it, so once Rich got a job and we determined he'd have it for a while, I quit. He was on the road all the time, I was working too far away and Josh was in day care for 13 hours. It wasn't pleasant, so we decided I would stay at home with Josh.
But since we knew no one, and we'd been here almost a year, I needed some way to find something for Josh and me to do. I decided to check out the local book store's story time. It was here that I met Mary.
At the time, Mary was the "Story Lady" and she did the story times at this very large book store. For many years her story times were voted the best in Atlanta by Creative Loafing Magazine. She now does story time for our city's local community parks and rec department.
Anyway, Mary and I became fast friends. She has a son a year older than Josh and they play very well together. Her youngest son and Sam are about the same age too. Her husband is a programmer, my husband is a programmer... you know, it's just a great fit all around.
Well, things "happen" to Mary or around Mary and she's the type of person that takes it in stride.
Her son's class has a "pet" hamster, Nibbles. Nibbles comes home with Cade (her son) on the weekends and for all school holidays and such. On several occasions, Nibbles has escaped from the cage causing a panic but Nibbles has always been found.
Mary was to take Nibbles home last Thursday. When she got to the school to pick him up, there was a substitute teacher.
No problem, she'll just take Nibbles and go on her merry way.
But wait! What is this? Poor Nibbles had died and no one noticed! Not wanting to "freak out" the class, Mary comes up with a plan.
She won't tell anyone because the last thing she wants is sixteen second graders crying all afternoon for the substitute.
She goes up to the local "pet mart" and buys a new hamster.
Unfortunately, there was not a Nibbles "look alike" so there was no way she could "pass it off." So she found a cute little golden hamster. Woo hoo! She puts it in a cardboard box for the drive home.
But wait, there's more.
On the way home from the pet store, Nibbles II escapes from the cardboard box.
Mary catches the hamster, puts it in the Nibbles I cage, and, as she said, she "still managed to make it to the preschool to pick up Jack" (her pre-schooler -- her super powers amaze me sometimes).
So phew! Everyone is happy! They have a Nibbles II, Cade is happy, the class is happy! The Teacher is happy!
Nibbles II gives birth to 5 baby hamsters this morning.
Apparently, she picked out the "only" pregnant hamster in the bunch! I'm thinking if there was one pregnant hamster, there's going to be more!
So as she's telling me this story, I suddenly remember that they are coming to Josh's birthday party on Saturday.
Me: "No Mary, Josh does NOT want a hamster for his birthday!"
Mary: "Are you sure? We can ask him!"
Me: "Well, you can ask him, and he may tell you he wants one, but he'd be wrong."
Anyway, anyone want a hamster? I can get you one. Cheap.