Dead body found in chemistry lab.
Science teacher: Framed for murder!
I’m a “what if” mom.
I think I’m a “what if” mom because I’m a fiction writer. This crazy bit of intellectual mind-twist smashed and stoked with heavy doses of daydreaming always gets the best of me during band concerts, parent association meetings, and carpools.
What if my daughter’s girl scout leader had an affair with my son’s baseball coach who was married to the art teacher with the shady past? What if the art teacher found out about the affair, decided to steal money from the school’s Parent Teacher Association so she could then frame her unfaithful husband? What if the girl scout leader found out about the art teacher’s plan and was able to foil the plot by running for treasurer of the PTA so she could protect the money and the fate of the man she loves?
What if a strange microorganism capable of teleporting kids into the past spread across the books in the library – affecting only the first and last chapters of the books in the historical bibliography section? What if the school janitor knew how to stop this strange microorganism from spreading but wouldn’t – and one by one, children were getting sucked through portals into Civil War Battles or into Europe’s mid-1300s where they succumb to the Black Plague?
What if I learned the janitor was targeting my child and I had to stop him by volunteering as assistant librarian in order to save my child’s life? What if I discovered the librarian was often confused at the top and bottom of the hour? And what if one of the other mothers grew suspicious of me and accused me of spreading the microorganism because she misunderstood my desperate attempts to wipe clean each and every page lest my child be sucked into the void never to be heard from again?
I really need to be a better mom at school functions and stop developing characters for novels when my child is busy blowing spit into a tuba. With four kids spread wide across so many extracurriculars, that’s a lot of story development swirling around inside my head. And I really should pay more attention to what the math teacher just said about my son’s invitation to enter the Lego Robotics Competition.
But I can’t help but wonder… Why is the math teacher so fascinated with tiny, plastic, buildable pieces? Why the drive to create a robot in the first place? Is he plotting to control the weather through robotic arms that somehow manipulate both moisture level and direction of the Jet Stream? Is that even possible? And why is he asking me to sign-up as the parent volunteer and bring snacks to every meeting? Is he trying to keep an eye on me? Does he think I’m a Soviet spy or something? Because truly, I’m not…
A Soviet spy?! Don’t be ridiculous.
I’m just a mom! Just your average, carpool-driving mom. I do the laundry, make cupcakes. It’s not like the sunglasses I’m wearing in my Gravatar photo can shoot hairpin torpedoes at your eyeballs or anything. They’re not laced with Anthrax or some exotic rainforest extract … Don’t be ridiculous.
Sheesh! You’re really “out there” aren’t you?
Hhmmm … You must be a “what if” mom, too. One part voracious reader, one part writer, and one heck of a relentless plotting mom. I know you. I know your type. When you’re sitting in the school hallway waiting for your turn to enter the classroom for your one-on-one parent-teacher conference, you’ve got that faraway look in your eyes as you stare at a wall plastered with snowmen painted by kindergarteners. You’re thinking about something. Something cold. Like those snowmen or that team of scientists who find love in isolated captivity while on deployment to Antarctica …
When not chasing stories around inside her head, writer and blogger JULIE VALERIE‘s at work on her first novel, a social satire that examines the role of power brokers in our schools’ Mommy-underground. Connect with Julie on her book blog, Chick Lit Chit Chat, on Facebook, Twitter @JBValerie or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.