My First 10 p.m. Wish

More than three years after leaving the evening news desk, it still feels like a novelty to have evening hours free.

My nights used to be consumed with preparing for and delivering newscasts. Now, I have a precious little window of time to breathe, or dream, or think. So I decided to try something new. Every night at 10 p.m., when the kids are in bed (hopefully) and I have a moment to myself, I’m going to make one wish. Out loud.

I don’t have a magic wand to make my wishes come true (yet), but I think this will give my ever-spinning brain something new to chew on.

I have my work cut out for me based on the “wishes” that have been popping into my head so far:

-That my kids would never utter the words “I’m hungry” within 10 minutes of clearing the dinner table

-That an angel would appear and restore dignity to youth baseball complex restroom facilities

-That I would either find the perfect figure-flattering-but-not-“Momfrumpy” swimsuit, or stop caring

-That the mind-blowing physician scientists I meet at Riley Hospital who are trying to cure pediatric cancer had UNLIMITED funding.

The list goes on, but I have to start somewhere. Since humor is my lifesaver on long, tough days of juggling, I’ll start with this first wish: that I had a video recording of my all-time favorite kid curse rant.

It was a warm, spring day, and my now-9-year-old daughter Clara was about 3 years old. She saw me in the yard digging up dandelions and begged me to stop.

“No, Mommy! Don’t hurt the pretty yellow flowers!”

I had to set her straight. “I know they look pretty, but honey, these aren’t pretty flowers – they’re YUCKY WEEDS called dandelions, and we need to get rid of them so they don’t kill the grass.” She looked unconvinced, so I got a little more demonstrative with my trowel. “Bad flowers!” I yelled at the yellow blooms as I dug them out with vigor. “Get out of our lawn!”

Clara started to see the light. “I want to get a tool too,” she told me, and headed into the garage with determination on her face.

The kid came back in 30 seconds, not with a little shovel, but with a large hammer. She got down on her hands and knees next to me, and started pounding the life out of a dandelion. Then, she opened her sweet little 3-year-old mouth and let out the worst string of curse words she could think of – IN RHYTHM with the hammer.dandelions

“STU-pid, DAM-mit –SH!&-lions!”

Yes, girl.

That might be the most perfectly profane phrase I’ve ever heard. It rung loudly in my mind earlier this week as the gardening trowel burned a blister into my right hand during my latest dandelion attack. I couldn’t resist muttering it out loud a few times as I tore up the weeds. The neighbors might be worried about my mental health, but it felt awesome.

I’d tackle a whole field full of the vile weeds in exchange for today’s wish: video evidence of my girl’s now-infamous dandelion curse.

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