Lydia Takes the Leap

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Chapter 13

School on Thursday came and went without event. She did manage to scribble out some potential names for her shop after school, however, she only came up with ridiculously boring and obvious names like Lydia’s Slime Shop or Slime Time by Lydia. She hoped her fellow club members were having better luck and could help her during their meeting that week. That evening at dinner, her parents inquired after the status of her small business.

“Well, my first idea was obliterated by milk, so thanks to Dad’s giant box of glue, I’ve changed my mind again and now I am making slime that farts!”

“Flatus slime?” her dad cast a worried glance at his daughter, thinking she was trying to sell something not only slimy, but stinky too! “I’m not sure I want credit for helping you with this idea.”

She laughed at the face her dad was making and explained how her new product made funny noises when you squished it around.

“Ah ha, that’s why you’ve been creating science experiments in the kitchen!” her mother teased.

“What happened to the pencil holders you were making with the cans? I thought that was a very practical product. Simple, easy and - ”

“Low cost. Yeah, I know dad.” She squirmed in her chair; uncomfortable about telling her dad exactly why she’d changed her product again, believing he would see her as fickle and a quitter.

Hesitantly she answered, “Well… when I was over at Veronica’s the other day, her brother told me it was a stupid idea and no one would buy it. And I agree, kind of. Although the paper I chose was really nice and I didn’t think they were that stupid.”

She looked to her parents for validation. Rather than confirming that the cans were ridiculous or giving her looks of disappointment as feared, Mr. Wyley started telling one of his stories.

Lydia inhaled a huge breath of air, preparing for another lecture and exhaled out with surprised when her dad asked, “Have you ever met Grandma’s pet rock, Herman?”

Giggling at the thought of her grandma petting a large rock on her lap, she shook her head no.

“Well, back in the 70s you wouldn’t think it was such a silly idea. In fact, lots of people had pet rocks! These folks didn’t just go around and pick up any old rock either. They went to department stores to actually purchase an everyday type of rock in a box!”

“It’s true!” Mrs. Wyley added when she saw Lydia’s face turning to disbelief, thinking her father was telling another dad joke to cheer her up.

“Yep, it’s true. I actually liked Herman too; he was a very quiet and obedient pet rock.” Laughing at his own jest, he continued, “Anyways,

it was an enormously popular toy, even though it was nothing special. Now, don’t you think the creator’s friends laughed at him? Of course, they did! It’s a boring old rock, but he still pushed forward and became a wild success!”

Lydia was astonished by the story and could feel a twinge of guilt for giving up so easily.

“What I want you to take away from that story is, if you believe in something you create – even if some people don’t understand, other folks will love it and see your vision.”

“Thanks, dad. Hmmm, I wonder if pet rocks could make a comeback,” she mused, half kidding.

Her mom laughed, giving her a light pat on the head as she made her way around the table collecting the dirty dishes. Lydia gave her dad a hug, then went back to her room to research the pet rock some more. In bed that night she tried to picture Veronica’s reaction when she told her about the pet rocks, there was no way she was going to believe it!

As she moseyed to school on Friday morning, she collected a medium size rock and placed it in her backpack for later. A beat up car rumbled up to the school right as Lydia arrived. She waved to Karen and her little brother as they stepped out onto the front curb. Lydia ran over to say hi and walked with Karen while she went to drop her brother off at his 3rd-grade classroom before heading to their lockers. Lydia unloaded a few books she wouldn’t need until later that day and put the rock on the locker shelf. Karen gave her a questioning look, but then the first bell rang.

Lydia shut her locker door and quickly explained, “It’s a pet for Veronica, isn’t it cute!”

“Whatever you say…”

The girls parted ways as they headed to their classes for the day, waving whenever they passed the each other in the hallways.

After school, Lydia met up with Veronica at their usual location. Before beginning the trek home, Lydia whipped out the rock she’d been saving for this moment.

“A gift for you my friend!” She handed the rock over to Veronica.

“A rock? Thank you, this is perfect to throw at my brother’s head for being so rude the other day!”

“No!” laughed Lydia, “It’s a pet rock! My dad told me these were super popular back in the day. Do you like it?”

“Um, well it’s just a rock… how do I feed it, where is its mouth? Does it go to the bathroom often?” Veronica eyeballed the stone closely, curious to know if it was more than she’d originally thought.

“Ok, it is just a rock… I just don’t understand how they could be so popular.”

Veronica shrugged, “Is this your new product?”

She gave her friend a playful shove for trying to guess “Nope, not even close! Oh yeah, I am also considering my pencil holders again after my dad told me the story of my grandma’s pet rock.”

“Oh, that’s awesome! I thought they looked nice, maybe you can add a ribbon or something to make them pop… wait, your grandma had a pet rock?” Veronica laughed at the idea of someone having a completely ordinary rock as a pet.

“Yep, his name was Herman.”

They giggled and imagined silly stories about Herman the Rock all the way to Lydia’s house.

“See you tomorrow! Don’t forget to bring some of your pot holders to the meeting!”

“I won’t! See ya later gator!” They hugged and Veronica headed down the street to her house.

That evening Lydia pulled out some paint, a bottle of glue, the wrapped tin cans and a spool of brightly colored ribbon. She painted the inside of the decorated tin cans a bright pink to match the tiny flowers on the paper, then tied a practically perfect bow with some ribbon and glued it to the middle of the can. Veronica was right, adding some flare made this simple tin can look more like a legitimate pencil holder you might find at a store! Content with the revised pencil cups, she set them on the desk to dry. Now she officially had two products to peddle, double the money! She drifted to bed that night feeling as though she was on seventh heaven, believing everything would run smoothly now that she had her club and had created two products.

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