Once upon a time, in a land far away . . . a mom had time to think. (I know. This NEVER happens. Even in fairytale world. Just play along.) This mom thought about spending her Spring with her three old friends: Googla, Fbooka, and Pinny.
Now, Googla was the mom’s know-it-all friend. The mom could ask her any question and Googla would come up with an answer. Even if it wasn’t right. She was her long-distance friend, too. So even if Googla was right about things where Googla lived — she wasn’t always right about things where the mom lived. But the mom never told her that. Googla was trying to be helpful after all.
Fbooka and the mom actually spent quite a bit of time together. Almost every day, in fact. But, oh! The drama. Fbooka was fun, but exhausting. The mom was willing to put up with a lot for the fun, but lately Fbooka had gotten into bragging and negativity which was making her not so fun anymore.
Ah, Sweet Pinny. Pinny was the quiet one of the bunch and she had the BEST ideas. The level at which this lady whipped up new recipes and redecorated her home & gardens seemingly every other day was astounding to the mom. How could she ever keep up?
Hmmm. Maybe the mom just needed a friend break? So she took her kids to the playground to play. It was a well-manicured playground at the edge of the Big Forest. The mom took her kids to that same playground ALL the time, but they weren’t allowed in the Big Forest.
The kids begged and begged to go in the Big Forest, but the mom knew they shouldn’t because of her friends:
- Googla said there were scary things in that forest.
- Fbooka said she’d been there once and it was lame, so she’d never go again.
- Pinny said she’d only lingered at the edge of the forest to capture a photo of her gourmet picnic lunch. What was the point of going any further?
On this day, the kids were playing near the edge of the forest when a huge puff of dirt exploded behind the trees. The branches shook and rattled. Someone, or some “Thing,” was in there! The mom ran towards her kids ready to rescue them. Googla was right! It was scary in there.
Then the mom heard laughter.
And it wasn’t coming from her kids?
It was not a scary laugh. It was a big belly laugh. In fact, TWO big belly laughs. The children were drawn to it and the mom was actually curious to see who or what could laugh so freakin’ hard. What was so amusing?
Just then, two women burst from the forest — muddy from head-to-toe, no make-up, sticks and leaves in their hair. A wide-open trail behind them. A wide open trail where there wasn’t one before. It was like a miracle!
Before the mom could ask “How?” The two women stumbled over to introduce themselves: “Hi, I’m Debi” said the one with the scrape on her knee. “And, I’m Michele” said the one wearing a big floppy hat that was on crooked. “Hope we didn’t scare you,” they said in unison. And then started with the big belly laughing again.
The mom didn’t know what to say. But her kids did. “Can we go, Mom? Mom, can we go?” Ummm . . . the mom still didn’t know what to say.
Debi pulled a magical map out of her back pocket and handed it to the mom. At the top was the word: NATURE. “You should take them. We’ve been to all the places. They’re okay for kids. The map will tell you how.” Michele nodded “It’s awesome! We’re moms, too. We’ve been exploring this Big Forest for 7 years with our children! Can you believe it? Debi used to keep to herself in North Forest and I was mapping South Forest for most of that time, but it was kinda lonely. So we decided to travel together and it’s been a BLAST. It’s all in the map. Look we made a path for you.”
With a little encouragement, the mom and her kids took the new path into the Big Forest. Suddenly, it didn’t matter what Googla, or Fbooka, or Pinny said. Michele and Debi had actually traveled on the path through the forest – and they had gifted her with their magical map. As the family spent more and more time in the Big Forest, the mom discovered that the map and the time she spent with her kids was much more valuable than her 3 old friends combined. Sure, she’d still talk with them from time to time . . .
But NATURE was her family’s new best friend. If she ever saw Michele and Debi again, she’d thank them for making the introduction.
And they lived happily ever after!