In a crisis torn, South American country, only little Ann's faith, her determination, and one young woman could help keep her dreams of escape alive.

A true story...
Find a synopsis and other details about Sunday’s Child at my confidence blog (linked). Read excerpts here: List of Books on Amazon

I Have a Joker on my Hands (A Light, Summer Ramble)

I was waiting in the schoolyard yesterday afternoon for my son to come back from a beach trip with his class. The bus was supposed to arrive before the bell sounded to signal the end of the school day, but was running about twenty minutes behind schedule. I guess this was understandable. England was experiencing what is commonly known in most parts of the world as, the season of summer. The difference between summer in England and summer in other parts of the world is that here, the word refers to Wednesday and Thursday of the last week in May. You would understand therefore, why everyone and their uncle’s Hawaiian, flowerdy, short-sleeved shirt were out on the streets causing massive traffic mayhem (otherwise known in these parts as the big better-walk-about-now-cos-we-not-gettin-no-more-summer day).

But I digress. My daughters and I sat on the bench in the playground waiting for my son, Gabs to arrive. You see, we were looking forward to getting home so we could re-acquaint ourselves with the bit of land we have at the back of our house which we vaguely remember spending time in about twelve months ago. After five minutes or so my youngest daughter, Mo noticed that the school choir was practising in the gym about ten feet away from where we sat and got up to have a peek at them through the open window.

The window was right across from where I sat on the bench basking in the strange, whitish, yellowy light that came from sky, the colour of which – I have to add – was blue. Blue? Who ever would’ve thought that the sky, behind that permanent grey mask was blue?

The choir master had his back to the open window while he played the piano to accompany the kids’ robust singing. They sat on the floor, legs crossed, with their books in front of them singing their hearts out. I hadn’t really recognised their song until I noticed Mo doing the YMCA dance routine. When I listened carefully, I realised that the choir was singing a very upbeat version to, ‘It’s fun to stay at the YMCA!’ Which explained why my young child was standing outside the open window, back to me, facing the entire choir, doing the elbows together for the Y, palms together – elbows apart for the M, arms above her head – twisted to one side for the C, and palms together, elbows apart for the A.

Needless to say, some of the kids in the choir started desperately trying to hold in their giggles. Needless to say again that the choir master looked behind his shoulders.
Mo ducked!
Then stayed tucked under the open window for a moment or two. I know you must be thinking that at this point I marched over there and made her come back to sit with us. If you’re thinking this you would be slightly, well, no heavily wrong. I was going nowhere. Even if I wanted to, I was in no condition to move because there was this uncontrollable urge, coming from somewhere deep inside my belly, to wet myself. This was most likely partly or entirely due to the spasming laughter which took hold of my being.

After a moment, when Mo gauged that the choir master had turned his head again, she was up and doing the YMCA dance again. During the verses of the song she substituted the YMCA routine for the Stavros Flatley dance, and if you don’t know what this is, look here . (No, don’t just pass it by, really, watch it. It’s amazing). It’s an original (Irish slash Greek) dance routine devised by a Greek father and son who made it big on the Britain’s Got Talent shows. Somewhere in between Stavros Flatley, YMCA, and the ducking combination, my eyes began to weep, my stomach began to convulse and my older daughter (who had joined her little sister at the open window) came back to wipe the tears – tears from laughing that is – from my face.

The choir master never found out who was behind the window. He could only look back so many times while concentrating on playing the piano while keeping his group in tune. I know I had a great summer this year with a belly laugh that still threatens to erupt every time I remember the incident. Now with England’s summer gone until the 25th of May 2010, I’ve got sweet thoughts to remember it by.

This is on top of the laughs I had a couple of weeks before, when I took the three kids to the cinema. We had already taken our seats in Screen One. The salted pop-corn was bought and divided and I’d told the kids again (for the seventieth time) that no, they couldn’t plump their bottoms in the large leather seats because you had to pay extra to sit in them.
‘But how’s anyone going to know?’
‘I will.’
‘But that’s not fair.’ Etc., etc.,
Amy Winehouse’s rich voice came through the speakers and Mo had suddenly scooted to the very front of the cinema by the stage – in view of everyone sitting there, and had begun to dance wildly with a huge grin on her face.
Nah, didn’t tell her off. Just belly-laughed my head off and enjoyed it like the rest of the people sitting there. I would say I’ve got a joker on my hands. Would you?


Glynis Peters said...

LOL sounds fun! By the way you will have sun on 25th July and 12th Sept, I am bringing some with me for my 2 children's wedding days!!

•°°• IcyBC •°°• said...

That was funny! I started to laugh out too, and the video was also fun to watch!

Loree said...

You sure do have a joker. But that's the fun of it all. Moments like the ones you described are extra precious and will live on in your memory forever.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Thanks for stopping by, Glynis, Icy and Loree. Kids are hard work, but they're fun too.

Diane AZ said...

Great story; as I was reading, I felt like I was there watching and laughing too. And now I know what the Stavros Flatley dance is. :)

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Those two are cool, aren't they?

Middle Ditch said...

You're a great mother Anne. Anybody else could have been enormously embarrassed by your delicious sounding daughter's escapades.

She will also remember this I'm sure and sometime in the future you both will be in fits of giggles again.

Both my daughter remember too well that beautiful snowy night when, convinced it would all have melted by the morning ( and it was), I took them out of bed, clothed them over their jim jams and we went for a wonderful walk in virgin snow.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Hi, Monique,

Now, *that* sounds like good fun. It's important to give kids good memories for the future

Middle Ditch said...

I couldn't agree more Anne. Mine are grown up now and at times we enjoy those memories together.

Funny enough though sometimes they have memories that have been completely erased from my mind.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Monique, sometimes I wish I had some good memories of my childhood (or that I could forget some of the bad ones). However, there is nothing I can do about that now. I have to make sure that I'm making great ones for my kids.

dabrah said...

It definitely sounds like you have a joker on your hands. But how lovely that she has the confidence to express herself so freely. It shows what a great job you're doing as a mother. Stavros Flatley: that was hillareous.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Dabrah, so good to see you again. What a lovely surprise.

Lille Diane said...

You are rich in writing abilities, and have a castle full of humor. I so enjoyed reading your blog. Before I forget...your children have inherited the beauty of humor from you. You all will be blessed the rest of your days with fabulously funny stories of your antics. Delicious blog!!

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Thanks, Lille. You're so kind. Thanks also for following my blog. I do appreciate the support.

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Cute story about your son and his antics. (How old is he?) Thank you for following (OWL) blog...I look forward to reading more of yours too. I appreciate your generous nature. I say that because I also read your online article, the relationship focused blog, and I noticed how you freely give pointers to other writers. You share your life with open arms-an admirable quality. I enjoyed your story and I hope it gets published...this part was the introduction? Did you write it in first person? I ask because it could be good as a memoir...about that period in your life. <3

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Sorry, I wrote "son" but I meant "daughter"...I think my hidden stereotypes were influencing my reading! <3

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Thanks for your kind comment, Cynthia. Morganne is nearly 8 now. This blog is about my book 'Sunday's Child' which is a memoir written about my younger life back in Guyana (South America). Sometimes, though, I write about stuff happening right now, (like this latest post about my daughter). This is not a part of my book.

If you would like to read some chapters of Sunday's Child you will find a link to it on the top, right hand side of this blog.

Thanks again for dropping by. Please visit again.

Marie Rayner said...

Hi Anne, thanks so much for visting my blog and leaving your lovely comment. IT's very easy to create your own play list. Just go to and they will lead you through it every step of the way. Then at the end when you have the songs you want on it, they give you a code that you can add to your page! HOpe this helps!


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