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Happy Mother’s Day 



Photo by Gretchen E.K. Engel

Photo by Gretchen E.K. Engel Zippy, Rosie, and baby Shuffler

Hi, this is Zippy. I gave Gretchen Mother’s Day off so she could spend it with her family. Last Mother’s Day she wrote one of her more visited pieces. And this Mother’s day is extra special for Rosie and me. We’ve been late in announcing this, but December 2 we welcomed our firstborn, Shuffler, onto Earth. He was 3 1/2 inches long and 1 3/8 ounces. Yes, Shuffler is a boy. He inherited his mother’s pink skin and my sweet shellship markings.

So what have we been up to since Realm Makers? Well, we thought Rosie got some bad lembas bread at RM but no, I’d managed to put my wife in the family way. Needless to say, I pretty much rubbed Rosie’s shell and fed her lettuce and ice chips until little Shuffler arrived.

December and January were a sleepless blur.

February Shuffler developed a mean case of colic. That was almost as much fun as his sleepless in the Southwest phase. Don’t feel too sorry for him, he took several field trips to school with Gretchen’s daughter. Shuffler now wants to be a third grader when he grows up. He’s yet to try middle school with her son. I think Shuffler would like it, especially getting to play that sweet baritone sax the boy brings home on school breaks.

By March, Shuffler’s digestive system decided it liked green leafy vegetables just fine. He learned day from night so we ventured home. First to our adoptive hometown of Roswell, NM and then back to our home planet to show off our little waddling one. We returned a couple of weeks ago. We spent a few days at the Very Large Array Observatory outside of Socorro, NM before heading home. The VLA is where Rosie and I met, so we had to show off Shuffler to our old colleagues.

For her first Mother’s Day, I “borrowed” some of the parsley Gretchen is drying and made Rosie a nice big salad. I also “borrowed” a bit of the hand cream Gretchen’s husband bought her and gave it to Rosie. Alien turtle skin is as scaly as it looks. It shines her shellship nicely too.

We’ve made our travel arrangements for Realm Makers in Reno. It’s much closer to home. Right now our plans are to ride with Gretchen and her family. I’m looking forward to seeing some of my friends from last year.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Did you do anything special to honor the special women in your life?


About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

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