Katie and her Mother

One Friday evening in late July, Audrey McDonald came home feeling very exhausted. She had worked ten days in a row without having any time off so she was glad that the weekend was starting. Her eight year old daughter Katie was watching television in the living room, but when she heard her mother came in, she ran up to greet her.

"Hi, Mommy!" she cried excitedly.

"Hi, honey." said Audrey in a somewhat monotone voice.

"What's wrong, Mommy?" asked Katie. "You look tired."

"I'm very tired." said Audrey. "I haven't had any rest from my job because of how busy we've been lately. But I have the next three days off, so I want to spend as much time with you as possible. How does a day trip downtown tomorrow sound?"

"I'd love that." said Katie.

"I knew you would." said Audrey and she held up a large pink shopping bag that included two shoe boxes.

"What's in there, Mommy?" asked Katie.

"It's a special surprise for tomorrow." said Audrey. "You'll find out the surprise in the morning." Katie could barely sleep that night. She kept wondering to herself what the surprise could be. When she came down to the kitchen for breakfast the next morning, she found Audrey at the stove preparing breakfast.

"A special day like this deserves a special breakfast." she said. She was still in her nightgown because she wanted to wait until after breakfast to show Katie the surprise. When they had finished eating, Audrey took her daughter into her bedroom and showed her the bag she had brought home yesterday.

"This is the surprise I mentioned to you yesterday." she said and she gave one of the shoe boxes to Katie. "I want you to go into your room and change into this special outfit that I picked out."

"Okay." said Katie and she skipped away with the box in her hand. Meanwhile, Audrey applied some lipstick onto her mouth and put on her earrings. She was in the process of applying the rest of her makeup onto her face when Katie returned.

"I love this outfit, Mommy." she said with a smile. She was wearing a light blue puff sleeve dress with a white Peter Pan collar around her neck and a row of satin stripes on the skirt of the dress. She was also wearing high white socks and a pair of black Mary Jane dress shoes. Finally, her hair was pulled into a ponytail.

"I figured you'd like that." said Audrey. "Now there's another part of the surprise that's for me, but I don't want you seeing it until I'm ready. However, you can watch some TV in the living room until I'm ready."

"All right." said Katie. She headed downstairs and skipped into the living room. She turned on the television and started watching some cartoons. Audrey came into the living room fifteen minutes later, and when Katie saw her, her mouth dropped wide open. Audrey was wearing the exact same light blue puff sleeve dress as Katie, but Audrey's dress was bigger because it was an adult size and Katie's was a child size. Audrey's dress also had a white Peter Pan collar at the neck and a row of satin stripes on the skirt. To finish things off, Audrey was wearing her own high white socks and the other pair of black Mary Jane dress shoes.

"What do you think, dear?" asked Audrey.

"I have to say, I'm quite surprised." said Katie as she jumped off the couch.

"I figured that we'd both wear matching outfits for our special day out together." said Audrey.

"That's a good idea." said Katie.

"I think so myself." said Audrey. "Now then, are you ready to go?"

"Yes I am." said Katie.

"In that case, let's get going." said Audrey. She turned off the TV and they made their way out the door. Audrey didn't drive, so they walked down the sidewalk to the bus stop.

"I think this is going to be a great day, Mommy." said Katie.

"I think so too." said Audrey. The bus arrived fifteen minutes later, and they both got on board.

"Do you think people will like our matching clothes?" asked Katie as the bus left.

"I hope so." said Audrey and they both sat down in some empty seats near the back of the bus. Katie stared out the window at all the cars that passed by them in both directions. She liked watching the cars pass by and she hoped to drive one herself when she got old enough to do so. She looked out the window the entire time the bus went down the road and she didn't stop until they reached the subway station forty minutes later.

"Come along, dear." said Audrey. She held her daughter's hand and led her inside the station and down the stairs to the subway platform. Katie had never been on the subway before, so she was a bit curious to see how it worked.

"Where's the train?" she asked.

"We have to wait for one." said Audrey. A few minutes later, a train pulled up on the platform. They let some other passengers get out first before getting on board. Right when they got on, they heard the sound of a chime. It rang three times and then the doors closed.

"What does that sound mean, Mommy?" said Katie as the train pulled out of the station.

"The sound you just heard means the train is ready to leave the station." said Audrey. They sat down near the door, and Katie turned herself around so that she could look at the tracks as well as any passing trains. Shortly after passing the next station, however, a kind young man came up to her.

"You look very nice in that dress, young lady." he said. Katie was still busy looking out the window of the train, however, so she wasn't paying attention to what the man had said. Audrey was paying attention, though, and tapped her daughter's shoulder. Katie turned around and smiled at the man.

"What do you say to this nice man?" said Audrey.

"Thank you." said Katie.

"You're welcome." said the man. He went back to his seat and read the newspaper he was holding. Katie went back to looking out the window and staring out at all the trains that zoomed by. They reached their stop half an hour later.

"Let's go." said Audrey and they got up from their seats. When they got off the train, Katie found that the exit of the station led directly into the shopping mall.

"I have another surprise for you." said Audrey and she took her daughter to the EB Games that was in the middle of the mall's first floor.

"You're buying an entire store?" Katie wondered. Audrey let out a small laugh.

"I wish I could do that." she said. "No, your next surprise is inside the store."

"What's the surprise this time?" asked Katie.

"Wait and see." said Audrey with a smile. She had Katie sit on the bench outside the store so that the surprise wouldn't be spoiled and then she went inside. As Katie sat on the bench, she kept wondering what her new surprise could be. She found out when Audrey came out of the store fifteen minutes later.

"What did you get me, Mommy?" asked Katie anxiously as she got off the bench.

"Look inside the bag and see for yourself." said Audrey. Katie took a quick peek inside and smiled when she saw a bright red box with the Nintendo Switch logo on it.

"I love this." she said as they walked away.

"I got you the Switch because I figured that you're old enough to start playing video games now." said Audrey. "I'll even tell you a little secret. I like video games myself. When I was your age, the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES for short, was the popular console." Katie didn't know what the NES was, so Audrey explained further. "The NES came out in the mid-eighties and essentially saved the entire industry after the whole video game crash earlier in that decade."

"How do you know all of that?" asked Katie.

"I looked up the information on the Internet after you went to bed last night." said Audrey. "Here's something else you didn't know. I had an NES system when I was your age."

"How long ago was that?" asked Katie.

"This would've been back in 1989, so thirty years ago." said Audrey. "I remember playing the old school Super Mario Bros., the original Legend of Zelda and many other games. I had that NES until I was twelve, at which point we traded it in for a Super Nintendo."

"What's a Super Nintendo?" asked Katie.

"It was the successor to the original Nintendo." said Audrey. "On that system, I played Super Mario World, Link to the past, and a new franchise that had been out for a year at that point called Super Mario Kart. Out of all the games I had on the Super Nintendo, Mario Kart was my favorite. A few years later, the Nintendo 64 came out and I absolutely loved that system. The only problem was that because that system used cartridges, the games were quite expensive."

"How expensive were they?" asked Katie.

"The cheapest games were about sixty dollars while the more expensive games ran for ninety to a hundred dollars." said Audrey.

"That's a lot of money." said Katie.

"Yes it is." said Audrey. "Because of how expensive those games were, and because I was a few years away from college at that time, I didn't have as much time to play as I did when I was smaller. I did take my N64 with me to college, but my gaming time was limited to the weekends because schoolwork took priority. When I graduated from college, the Gamecube was the newest Nintendo system but I needed a job in order to buy one. Luckily, I had studied the appropriate field in college to get the job I wanted. As a result, I was able to get an accounting job right away and I've had that job ever since."

"You must've made a lot of money from your job over the years." said Katie.

"I've made quite a lot of money, yes." said Audrey. "When I started working, I decided to make that my priority and take a break from gaming. Because of that decision, I skipped the Wii and Wii U generations. However, it's also because of that decision that I was able to buy this Nintendo Switch for you. But the system isn't the only thing I got." She pulled a couple of game boxes out of the bag as well as a few other items. "I got Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Party, Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. I also got two Pro Controllers so that we can play these games together."

"That's a good idea." said Katie. "I can't wait to play these."

"We'll set everything up when we get home." said Audrey and they made their way to the second floor of the mall. When they got off the escalator, Katie saw something that made her very excited.

"Look Mommy, they have a bounce castle." she said. "Can I go in?"

"Yes, but you have to take your shoes off first." said Audrey. Katie unbuckled the straps from her shoes, took them off and went inside.

"Aren't you coming in with me?" she asked her mother.

"No, I think I'm good." said Audrey. "I'll just watch you from out here."

"Okay." said Katie and she started bouncing up and down. Shortly afterward, some other kids came by and joined her. Some of the kids were ones that Katie already knew from her school, while the others were ones that she didn't know. They all had a lot of fun jumping and running around inside the toy castle, but after half an hour, Audrey called to Katie.

"It's time to go, honey." she said. Katie slowly made her way out and put her shoes back on. She buckled up the straps and then they went on their way once again.

"Where are we going now, Mommy?" asked Katie.

"We're going to go out for lunch." said Audrey. They went back to the first floor and made their way outside onto the sidewalk. They walked for about twenty minutes before finding a pizza restaurant.

"This looks like a good place." said Audrey and they went inside. The restaurant was fairly new, but it was very good according to the reviews Audrey had read online about the place. Katie had a pepperoni and anchovy pizza with her lunch as well as a glass of chocolate milk while Audrey had cheese, mushrooms and green peppers. Katie hated peppers. She thought they were too spicy. Luckily, she didn't have to eat any of them. Once they had finished and the bill had been paid, Katie had to use the bathroom so Audrey waited. Five minutes later, Katie came back and they set off again.

"What's next, Mommy?" asked Katie.

"We're going to walk around the downtown area this afternoon." said Audrey and they started walking again. Along the way, people passed by and complimented them on their matching clothes.

"You look absolutely gorgeous." one woman said to Audrey.

"You look like a princess." a kind man said to Katie.

"Thank you." said Katie. Suddenly, she got an idea.

"Mommy, can we get some ribbons for these dresses?" she asked.

"Of course." said Audrey. This made Katie so happy that she skipped the entire thirty minute distance to the fitter's shop.

"Hello there." said the fitter. "What can I do for the two of you today?"

"My daughter and I would like to be fitted for some ribbons to go onto our dresses, please." said Audrey.

"Certainly." said the fitter. "By the way, the two of you look spectacular in those dresses."

"Thank you, sir." said Katie.

"You're welcome." said the fitter. "Now then, what color would you both like?"

"That depends on what colors you have." said Katie.

"I have plenty of colors." said the fitter. "I have red, blue, yellow, green, white, orange, purple and pink."

"We'd like pink, please." said Katie.

"That's a very fine choice." said the fitter and he disappeared into the back room. He returned five minutes later with two pink ribbons.

"I think these should do nicely." said the fitter. "Now I need both of you to stand still for a minute or so." Katie and Audrey stood where they were and raised their arms up so that the fitter could put the ribbons on them. He stood behind them and carefully placed the ribbons just above the skirts of the dresses. He tied them both into a bow at the back and when he had finished, he stood in front of them.

"There you are." said the fitter.

"Thank you very much." said Katie.

"You're quite welcome." said the fitter. Audrey paid him and they left the store.

"Where are we off to now?" asked Katie.

"There's a park near here that I think would be the perfect place for us to spend the rest of our day." said Audrey. The park was only five minutes away from the store they had just come out of, and when they got there, Katie started running toward the swings.

"Slow down." said Audrey with a laugh. "I can't run as fast as you." When they got to the swings, Katie sat down and grabbed hold of the handles.

"Push me, Mommy." said Katie. Audrey put the big shopping bag down, put her hands on Katie's back and began to push her.

"Wee!" cried Katie. "This is a lot of fun!" Audrey was glad to see that her daughter was enjoying herself. Soon, Katie was swinging by herself and didn't need to be pushed. Her legs swung back and forth in front of her as she swung. Katie played in the park all afternoon with Audrey watching her closely. By the time five o'clock came, Katie was beginning to feel tired. She let out a yawn as they left the park and went back to the subway to go home. She managed to stay awake long enough to get on the train, but once she sat down, her eyes closed and she fell fast asleep. She slept the whole way to the station and Audrey had to nudge her when they arrived so that they could get on their bus. However, Katie slept most of the bus ride and she didn't wake up until they were almost at their stop.

"Did you have a nice nap?" asked Audrey. Katie nodded her head. She was too tired to say anything. In fact, she didn't speak again until they had gotten off the bus and started walking back to their house.

"I had a fun time with you today, Mommy." said Katie.

"I'm glad you did." said Audrey. When they got inside, she took the Switch box out of the shopping bag and opened it up. Everything that was supposed to be included was in there. The Joy Con controllers, dock and charger were all included just as they were supposed to be. Katie took everything out of the box and hooked them up to the TV. Once she had finished, she spent the rest of the night playing with her new games.

"How are you enjoying your new Switch?" asked Audrey at bedtime.

"I love it." said Katie as she changed out of her clothes and into her pajamas. "I'd love it even more if you played the Switch with me."

"We can't right now because it's getting late." said Audrey. "I'll play with you tomorrow, though." She kissed Katie on the forehead and said good night to her before turning off the light, closing the door and leaving the room.

The End