No one wanted to go back. We'd just had four days off, making that too dark start of Monday feel earlier than usual - insanely early. In a daze they ate their breakfast, tied their shoes and slumped into the van. Grumble, grumble, whine, "Stop it," "MOM!", grumble, comprised the bulk of the "conversations" taking place on the way to school. We'd collectively woken up on the dead wrong side of all our beds apparently. Oh who or what would save us from this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning?
"Mary," said Priscilla, when we stopped at a red light,"can you hand me my book? It's over by your seat."
"Sshhhh," answered Mary, "I'm having a staring contest with that dog."
At which point we all turned around to see my 6-year-old gazing intently at the doberman in the car next to ours. Sure enough, their eyes were locked. The game was ON. It was bizarre, surreally hysterical, and I let out a laugh. My oldest, too, started giggling, and just like that the somber mood weighing my family down was lifted. We'd indeed found relief in Mary's unintentional comedy and I, for one, was very thankful....thankful for that crazy dog.
The light turned green and off we went, a little lighter, a little brighter. "So who won, Mary?" Elijah asked.
"I did," she said. "The dog blunk."