All of you wonderful readers out there know that Reese's is in college now. She is just finishing her first year in college, but for some of you who may be new, I thought I would mention it at the beginning of this series of "Candy Jar Stories".
Reese's was in kindergarten and back then Mrs. Claus (that's me) was going to college but still working full time with Santa at the software company. All four candy bits were living with us then, but the kindergarten bus dropped off at our house first before the other buses. The next year we would have a child in four different schools (Reese's would be at Eastside (1-3 grades), Skittles would be at Central (4-6 grades), Tootsie Pop would be at Jr. High and Lollipop at Sr. High. . . AND they would ride the bus together.
But for now, this was just the way it was, kindergarten got dropped off first and normally it wasn't a problem, because Mrs. P, was always there to welcome Reese's home. Mrs. P was our housekeeper/babysitter for a lot of years and she is still the sweetest lady.
Well it was a spring day and getting close to the end of the school year when all these wonderful events happened. It was sunny and I remember the grass was green and it was warm outside. (It could have been fall, but I don't remember it that way.) It was one of those crazy days where you look up and it's lunch time. Just busy, classes all morning and then after lunch, rushing to catch up on all the work I missed when I was at class. The two older girls (Lollipop and Tootsie) had just started living with us, so there was the new craziness of having four children. But around the time that Reese's was supposed to get off the bus at the bus stop, which was right in front of our house, Thank you Jesus!
I had a call at the office from my best friend and back-door neighbor. She asked if I knew Reese's was in my backyard alone?
*commence freak out* F-R-E-A-K!! O-U-T!!!
My mind starts racing, what's the date? Calendar, calendar. . . what's that say? Oh no, Mrs. P had a doctor's appointment today. She's not at my house! Kindergarten bus gets dropped off first! *screams inside my head* How could I forget that? Holy cow! I have to get home . . . NOW!!! I have an unattended 5 year old in my backyard!
In my head the chanting starts . . .
(Okay, don't flip out too much. . .my office was only 5 minutes from my house back then because we lived in town, but still!!!)
I flew into the drive-way and jumped out of the navy blue mini-van. (I know, right?) And I found Reese's crying in the backyard. My heart sank into my toes . . . to see her red cheeks and sad face. . . at least she was safe . . . I opened the gate, ran over to her and knelt in the backyard and hugged her and kissed her for what must have been "too long" because she started to pull away. I just kept saying, "Momma is soooo sorry, baby, Momma is soooo sorry." Reese's was crying and saying something about a puppy. Puppy? What puppy? We don't have a puppy?
"Come and see, Momma. Come and see my new puppy," she said.
She led me around the backyard several times, looking behind the tree and the swing set, but there was no puppy. I said, "Sweetie, are you sure there was a puppy?"
Now you have to know this part . . . Reese's was infatuated with dogs almost from birth, it wasn't unusual for her to act like a puppy, to the point where we had to get on to her and "make" her be a child again. She would point out all the puppies on the road while riding in her car seat. She loved dogs so much that she named all the stuffed animals in her room and yet none of the baby dolls. If you asked her the name of any given stuffed animal, it had a definite name and a reason. This one is "Patches" cause he has spots on his eyes. Or, "This one is "Boots" cause his paws are black. But if you asked her what her baby doll's name was, she would shrug her shoulders and say, "I don't know . . . Baby I guess."
Reese's around kindergarten age. (This was not the day, but she was sad about a puppy that we told her she couldn't keep. LOL!)
Reese's looked at me, "There was a puppy. I know it Momma, I was petting him and I thought if I asked you we could keep him. He needed me."
Reese's convinced me she had been in the backyard with a puppy this whole time. We looked under bushes and behind the hedge where the air conditioner was, but there just wasn't a puppy. I said, "Well, he must have gotten out of the gate when you came home."
She said, "No Momma, I closed the gate so he wouldn't run out in the road and get hit by a car. He needed me Momma."
Now I am really curious and I really wanted to find this puppy. I wanted to find this puppy as much as Reese's just to see the wonderful reason why she had stayed in the backyard instead of, . . . well instead of anything else. I didn't even want to think about where she could have gone or been. I wanted to see this beautiful dog and we would see about keeping him. But honestly, there was just no puppy.
And then like a bolt of lightning . . . it came to me. . . . why was there a puppy?
Ahhh, so Reese's wouldn't leave the backyard until Momma got there!
I started to cry, thanking God. . . and Reese's said, "Do you miss the puppy too, Momma?" I said, "No, sweetie, you know what I think? I think God sent that puppy to our backyard so that you would follow him and stay here until Momma got here.
Reese's said, "Do you think God will let us keep him?"
Still to this day, I am convinced that God sent that puppy to keep Reese's safe until her "bad" Mom could get there. Thank you Jesus!