Brittany’s only thought as she opened the front door was how long she wanted to spend soaking in a hot bubble bath. That was quickly demolished by a six-year-old ball of energy ramming into her legs, wrapping her little arms tightly around them so she was trapped.
“Oof! I’m sorry there must be some mistake. I can’t be your mommy.”
The girl giggled. “Yes, you are.”
“No, see, my daughter’s only about this tall.” She held her hand level with the girl’s chin. “And not nearly as strong as you.”
The girl giggled and squeezed Brittany’s legs harder. Brittany winced in mock pain and the girl giggled harder. “But I am your daughter. I grew! And I got stronger.” She squeezed Brittany’s legs again.
“OK, that’s enough picking on mommy,” Brittany said as she disentangled herself and picked up the little girl, swinging her onto one hip with a grunt. “My daughter isn’t as heavy as you either.”
“I gained ten pounds,” she said proudly.
“Ten pounds! My goodness, what has your father been feeding you?”
“Lots of green beans,” a voice answered from the kitchen. “I didn’t realize they would make her long and skinny like green beans.”
“And strong!” The girl squeezed her mother again.
“OK, OK, you’re very strong. You’ve made your point, now please stop hurting mommy.” Brittany plopped the girl down on one of the kitchen stools and she promptly jumped down and ran around to the other side of the kitchen table.
“I may have said something about green beans helping her grow up big and strong like her mother,” the man said as Brittany greeted him with a kiss. “I never could have guessed she would take to it like this.”
“Hey, anything to get her eating her vegetables. I appreciate it.”
“Mommy, watch me!”
“What now? A new dance move?”
“Nope. It’s a project for school. We have to tell the class what we want to be when we grow up and why. Mine is all about how I want to grow up to be an astronaut, like you, mom, because astronauts have to be really smart and really strong. Don’t they, mom?”
“Wanna hear my presentation?”
Brittany watched her daughter brag to a fictional room full of awed classmates about how being an astronaut was the best job in the whole world because her mom was an astronaut and went up into space and onto other planets, just like in Star Wars! She even had a map of Mars, with a circle around the area her mom had explored, and talked about the atmosphere on Mars and why scientists thought we might one day have colonies there.
Brittany turned around to look at her husband, who was standing behind her. “Why do I get the feeling she had some help?”
He held up his hands, palms out. “I helped a little, but really not as much you think. Our girl is smart and she wants to be just like you.”
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