She skipped into the bedroom, the card safely hidden behind her back. It wasn't even breakfast time yet, but it had been in her book bag for days and she wasn't waiting one moment longer than she had to.

"You're supposed to knock…" Mommy reminded her, quickly stuffing whatever it was she'd been holding back into the keepsake box on her dresser. It was the same place Mommy kept Ashley's baby teeth, but she'd never seen that envelope before. Besides, it looked real old and so was probably from way before she was born. It couldn't have anything to do with her, so it didn't really matter.

"I did," Ashley insisted. "Just not… much."

Mommy smiled at that, but there was something funny about her face. Like she had a cold or something. And she seemed to be looking straight through Ash, like she wasn't even paying attention to her at all.

"I made you something." Ashley stuck the envelope she'd been hiding, a new nice one, directly under Mommy's nose. It worked, and Mommy looked down at the card, really seeing it now.

"What's this?"

Ashley grinned. "Open it and find out."

Mommy took the envelope, tore it open, and pulled out the card inside. Ashley was pretty happy with the way it had turned out, though it wasn't really her style. Big Foot had insisted, though, that doilies and red hearts were more appropriate for the holiday than the little green aliens and spaceships Ashley had wanted to draw.

She really liked Halloween much, much better.

Still, Mommy seemed happy. At least, she was smiling. She also seemed to be crying. Or at least, it looked like there were a couple of tears on her cheeks. But maybe that was just a cold, too. Who knew? Adults were weird.

Ashley bit her lip. "You like it?"

Mommy looked up from the card. "It's perfect. Thank you, Ashley."

Ashley smiled back up at her. "You're welcome." And then, just as she was about to turn and leave, Mommy reached out and pulled her into a hug. Which was surprising and wonderful all at the same time, 'cause Mommy didn't give out hugs for just anything. Especially not hugs like this.

Maybe the card hadn't been such a dorky idea after all.