Last week, I introduced a new game that my friend and fellow blogger Christine Hennebury have been playing. I take a picture and send it to her, and she takes it as inspiration for a piece of flash fiction. I love this photo on its own, because it was random and unposed and real, and some day I’ll miss the days when I look up to see a cardboard box running past. Her story makes it that much more perfect, don’t you think?
I know I probably shouldnâ€™t but I keep ordering them online.
Itâ€™s the anticipation that gets me.
First I never know when my shipment will arrive, that depends on the incubation time, I think. Then, you never know when they will hatch. So you end up just watching the top of that cardboard cube like the miracle within will emerge any second.
Of course, if I want to meet the hatchling, I have to follow the instructions to the letter –
1) Remove the packing tape from the box but do not open the flaps.
2) Leave the box in a warm place – sunlight is ideal but near a heater is fine.
3) Drop chocolate and fruit in through the feeding chute every second day – they like oranges and Lindt bars best.
4) Sing or tell stories nearby daily and use a soft voice – thatâ€™s so the little one feels connected to you.
5) Leave a plate of chocolate on your kitchen counter – that helps draw the little one out once theyâ€™re ready.
Then, I wait and I wonder.
When will they hatch? What adorable â€˜grow-with-meâ€™ clothes will they be wearing? What snack will draw them out?
I ache from wanting to open the box early but I know these things have to happen in their own time.
I wait and wait, and sooner or later, I hear that strange snapping sound of the box-top opening and the slap-slap of those bare feet on my wooden floors.
Thatâ€™s when I run forward, my heart thumping with joy as I watch my hatchling take their first steps toward the kitchen.
Itâ€™s just precious, the way they always burst out feet-first and head right for the snacks – their little heads still stuck in their hatching-boxes. It brings tears when I think of it.
Parenting joy is like no other happiness.
If you’d like to read more of Christine’s writing, visit her site. Stay tuned for another new photo and another new story next week!