I was standing in the kitchen drinking a large glass of V8 Splash, and watching our two dogs play tag in the snow when it hit me. A rotten, burning stench sort of staggered around the corner, and hit me in the gut hard enough to shove my stomach into my throat.

When I finally finished gagging, and stumbled around the corner I witnessed the unthinkable: my mother, slumped over in her chair, barely moving.

If I hadn't known better, I would have thought she had been dead for several weeks in a hot, humid climate. . . but I had just seen her leaving the kitchen where I stood not five minutes before. . .
Something was out of wack.
Then my brain made the connection, and the acrid aroma clarified itself in my mind: HIGHLIGHTERS!!

I decided to give it a go.
"Umm. . .mom?"
Silence.
"mom?"
*GIGGLE*
"Oh God. Mom. . . don't you think you've had those out for long enough?"
*GIGGLE* "Hey Courtney, come look at this! Isn't it cool?"

Ok. . . what was I SUPPOSED to do? I couldn't just leave her there to get high. . . she is my mother. I had to take action. I approached warily, my hand over my nose. . . And then the sun came through the window and hit her just right.

There was a fleeting moment when it DID occur to me that I had probably been standing still too long, and that I had probably sucked in more fumes than my 120 pound frame could handle, but it passed quickly and I realized. . .
My mom is gorgeous.
The halo that formed around her head brought back a million memories, and in a second I was transported back to grade school, and the highlighting pens from my youth.

I remember that I was in the third grade, and that I had tried quite unsuccessfully to write a report about parrots. My mother, always ready to lend a helping hand, whipped out several colors of highlighting pens and marked things that should go together.
"This sentence here. . . it should go over there, on page three. We'll make that paragraph pink. And over here. . . this will be the blue topic."
She numbered the paragraphs for me, and when I was done reorganizing and editing, I had a brilliant report about the mating habits of parrots(one that I later used in 4 other classes to get A's).
We sat at the table for something like 3 hours breathing in those fumes. . . and giggling.

"So. . .Mom. . . what is it you are working on?"
"Well, at work we have these forms, and they are all in the wrong order. . ."
*giggle* "Can I help?"

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