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Miranda's Bicycle

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Miranda’s Runway seems to have so many moving parts I thought an update of everyone’s ages would be a good idea.

Clair 5
Miranda 65
Mandy 13
Cas and Caro 25
Andy 39

 

“MC, I just don’t think I can make it. Mira is teething and being a real bear.”

Mandy shook her head even though she was on the phone and Cassidy couldn't see her.

“That is so lame. You need to come Cass, please? Martha can watch Mira she can be without her mommy for a few hours”

“Why is this such a big deal?”

“Because Clair is sad If you and Caroline were here we could do the sister thing. You know get sunglasses and watch from the balcony.”

“MC honey, you know Caro is working in Texas right now and with Mira acting up I can’t imagine flying with her from Atlanta to New York.” She gentled her voice, “You are a great big sister you can help her.”

Mandy’s voice had an edge to it when she responded. “Well, I guess I am calling in the debt.”

Cassidy was silent for a moment and then said cajolingly, “Come on honey that was a long time ago.”

Cassidy thought back to the night she incurred ‘the debt’. Cassidy had almost gotten caught sneaking in after a night out. Miranda didn't trust her daughter’s new boyfriend and put her foot down. Cassidy went anyway. The date was a disaster and Cassidy had to walk home in the middle of the night. When she arrived home at 3 AM the house was locked. Caroline was away and the only way in was through MC’s window.

“It doesn’t matter Cass! You said you owed me big and I never called it in, now I am.”

Cassidy closed her eyes and remembered her little sister saving the day. She was trying to sneak past MC’s bed without waking her and she heard her mom talking in the hall.

“I knew it. I knew she wouldn't be there. She is out with that boy.”

“Honey, calm down, you don't know that for sure.”

“Well, where the hell is she? Her bed is all messed up like she was in it, how stupid does she think I am.”

Cassidy looked around the room franticly not sure what she should do. She felt MC grab her hand.

“Quick get in my bed with me.”

Cassie kicked her shoes under the bed and jumped in. As soon as she was settled the younger child started to cry. It was only a moment before Miranda heard the noise and came running.

Miranda rushed in to the room to find her older daughter comforting the younger. MC had her face buried in Cassidy’s shoulder. Cassidy looked at her mother and said, “She had a bad dream. I’ll stay with her.”

Miranda leaned over the bed and gave each of her daughters a kiss.

“Will you be ok honey? Do you want to come with me?”

MC held on to Cassie and shook her head.

“All right Dear Heart, Come get me if you need me.”

As soon as Miranda was gone MC sat up in bed and glared at her sister.

“You shouldn't have gone out with that jerk. Why are you so late?”

“Mom was right he was a jerk and the party was bad. Everyone got drunk so I had to walk home.” She gave her little sister a tight squeeze. “Thanks for the quick thinking.”

“I don’t like tricking Randa.” MC looked at her grimly. “You can’t be bad again, ok?”

Cassidy nodded her head at the little Girl and asked, “Ok, so what do you want?”

“For what?” MC was clearly confused by the question.

“What do you want for not telling mom, for covering for me?”

MC furrowed her brow and asked, “We’re sisters, why would I want anything?”

Cassidy smiled at the little girl’s naivety.

“All right little sis, I owe you big, real big. So when you need a favor just ask ok?”

Cassidy opened her eyes and knew she was stuck.

“Ok I’ll try, but you have to tell me why this is such a big deal.”

“Well, Clair’s five now so it is her time to watch from the Met balcony. I want her to have a great memory of her first time like I did.”

“You said she was sad. What’s that about?”

“She overheard someone saying it was too bad her birth mom died and Randa got stuck raising another child at her age.”

Cassidy saw red. “Who said it? Who’s ass do I need to kick?”

“It was at Runway. It was just a clacker who is now out of a job and has no prospect of one in the next century.”

“Didn’t you tell her it was bull? My God everyone knows Mom adores her!”

“I tried, but it isn’t working too well. I think maybe if we have some sister time, if you come from far away just for her she will feel better. Maybe if we all talk about how it was when I started being your sister and then about her too. I don’t think sitting her down and telling her stuff will help. But if we are all together telling stories and some are about her and when she came it could be good.”

Cassidy was silent for a moment.

“You really are scary smart, you know that right?” She took a deep breath, “I’ll be there and don't worry about Caro I’ll make sure she comes too.”
***

“Are you expecting anyone?” Miranda asked. She and Andrea were having dinner with Clair and Mandy and heard someone coming in the front door.

Before anyone could answer a familiar voice called out.

“Anything left for a few weary travelers?”

Mandy jumped from the table to greet her older sisters. She pulled the twins into a group hung narrowly avoiding squishing her niece Mira in the process. Miranda gave each girl a quick kiss then held out her hands for her infant granddaughter.

“Geese Mom,” Cassidy said. “You are such a baby hog.”

Everyone laughed

“Yea Mom,” Caroline spoke up chuckling. “Thank God Cass had Mira when she did or you would be out there trolling for another one of your own!”

“True dat!” Mandy said giggling.

The twins joined their family at the table.

“So girls,” Andrea asked. “To what do we owe this amazing surprise?”

Caroline glanced up with an exaggerated expression of shock on her face.

“You mean you weren't expecting us?”

“Should we have been?” Miranda asked puzzled.

“Well dah,” Cassidy said with amusement. “It’s the big weekend!”

“Darling, I don’t know what you were expecting but tomorrow is the Met Gala. Andrea and I are booked solid.”

“True,” Caroline replied.

“Clair is five this year,” Cassidy continued.

No one was bothered when the twins replied with their habit of alternating sentences.

“We couldn't miss out on the five year tradition!”

Caroline gave Clair a bright smile.

“We have some serious shopping to do.”

Cassidy winked at the youngest diner.

Miranda was still looking confused.

“The Met silly,” Mandy said in a loud excited voice. “We have to take Clair to see you and Momma in your dresses.”

Andy’s smile was blazing.

“You guys flew all this way to surprise Clair and take her to watch the ball? You are so terrific!”

Caroline reached over and ruffled Clair’s hair.

“Just because we don’t live here doesn't mean that we aren’t sisters.”

She touched her little sister lovingly on the nose.

“Right buddy?”

Clair nodded slowly not really sure what to make of it all.

“Well Miss Mira you know what that means don't you?” Miranda cooed. “It’s Grammy time!”

“You really are a genius Cass. Only you could make Randa use a nick name.”

Cassidy had hesitated to name her daughter Miranda. She wanted to but did not want to have three Mirandas at the dinner table. She knew Miranda was no more likely to call her granddaughter Mira then she was to call her daughter Mandy. So she named the child Mira. Actually she named her Mira Miranda Jameson. She had to trade full naming rights for the next one to her husband but it was worth it. She loved to be able to both honor and outwit her mother.

“Now the big question is,” Mandy said laughing. “Are you going to be able to escape with her back home?”

All eyes turned to the fashion queen snuggling with little Mira. The teething child was happily drooling all over her Grammies Bill Blass.

As the family settled in the living room to chat Clair sat off to the side coloring. She was a little overwhelmed by her sister’s and niece’s arrival. She was thrilled that she would be shopping for sun glasses and a special dress to wear but not really sure what the excitement was about. After a little while she took her paper and walked over to her mother.

“Randa wanna see my picture?”

Miranda arched an eyebrow and waited.

“I mean, Randa do you want to see my picture.”

“Of course I do Angel Girl.”

Miranda shifted Mira to free up a hand and held it out for the picture. It was a typical Clair drawing lots of color and action and very little relationship to anything identifiable.

“I love all the colors darling. Tell me about the picture.”

“It’s you and me on the playground. See here is the slide and here is you and that’s me.” Clair pointed at some lines and circles and continued. “See we’re wearing rainbow oberalls like I saw in the store. Do you like rainbow oberalls?”

“I think you look very nice in overalls.” Miranda replied diplomatically.

“Where did you see them?”

Andrea put her head in her hands she knew what was coming and knew it meant trouble for her. She wasn't sure how much trouble, but there would be some.

“I saw them at that big store next to McDonalds.”

“Oh, and why were you at McDonalds?”

“For lunch silly, we took it in the car on the way to Karate.”

“I see and then you went in to …” Miranda paused and closed her eyes. “Walmart?”

“Yup, did you know they have really neat clothes? There was a bathing suit with a big sun flower on the bottom and rainbow oberalls. There was other cool clothes too. I wish I had a shirt with Sponge Bob on it.”

All three of the older girls had tears in their eyes from trying not to laugh. When Miranda glared over at Andy they sent her looks of sympathy that only lasted for a moment. They really had to concentrate on not laughing.

“Randa, do you think they would have oberalls big enough for you too?”

“I am sure they do not.” Was her stiff reply.

“Oh,” Clair responded sadly. “I thought we could get some. It would be fun to dress the same, but not in your boring clothes.”

Miranda’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. Cassidy jumped up and grabbed little Mira.

“I think I need to get her ready for bed,” she choked out while heading for the door. Caroline and Mandy followed right behind her with offers of assistance.

“You think my clothes are boring?” Miranda asked while pulling her daughter up on to her lap. “What makes them boring?”

Clair looked very serious.

“You never have rainbows or aminals.”

She studied her mother for a while and then asked, “Do those kind of clothes cost too much? Is that why we can’t have the fancy things?”

It was all Andy could do to keep from hyperventilating. She was in awe of Miranda’s self- control as she replied. “I am sure we have enough money for a Sponge Bob shirt Angel Girl. But I don't think I can stretch it for the rainbow overalls.”

“Really? Thank you, thank you!” Clair gave Miranda a big kiss on the cheek and then jumped off her lap. “I gotta tell Mandy!”

It was testimony to her shock that she let her daughter get away without correcting her English.

Miranda sat looking stunned with Clair’s drawing in hand. Andy nodded her head towards the paper and asked, “Would you like me to make you a lunch date with Donetella?”

***

When Clair’s nannie Martha arrived to look after Mira the four sisters headed out for shopping and bonding time. As they pulled away from the town house Caroline asked, “Do you think Martha will get a turn to hold her?”

Cassidy laughed, “Well maybe if she needs a diaper change.”

She looked over at her youngest sister, “So Miss Clair are you ready to do some shopping?”

“Sure,” she responded happily. “Can we go to Walmart?”

Caroline suppressed a grin as she replied, “No honey we are going to Bloomingdales."

“What are we going to buy?”

“We are going to get you a party dress to wear when we watch all the people in their fancy clothes at the ball.”

“Are you going to get a new dress?”

“No, Cass and I brought our own. You don't need one do you MC?”

“Umm let’s see, You have Mom’s credit card and we are going to Bloomongdales. Yup, I need a dress.”

***

Dress shopping with Clair was an adventure. It was clear that her sense of style and color was the opposite of her sisters. Actually it was the opposite of anyone who had any idea about fashion.

“Clair Bear,” Mandy said gently, “that is a casual dress we are looking for something in formal wear.”

Clair pouted, “But all of those are boring. This one has stripes and pretty colors.”

Mandy glanced at her older sisters who were looking at the dress in horror. She gave her little sister an indulgent smile.

“How about we buy this one for play time and pick out another one for the party?”

“I’m not sure, Randa said that rainbow oberalls cost too much. If we get two dresses can we still get my Sponge Bob shirt?”

Caroline could barely contain herself but was able to respond seriously.

“I think Randa can afford two dresses. And I will buy you the Sponge Bob shirt as a special present.”

“Good idea Caro,” Cassidy said with a twinkle in her eye. “I would hate to be holding Mom’s credit card when that purchase went on. I think it might explode at the indignity.”

Mandy glared at her older sister glad the comment went over Clair’s head.

“I know, let’s go and try this dress on while the evil twosome get a few others for you to pick from.”

Clair insisted on wearing her new casual dress right out of the shop. Her boring dress went into a bag. It was a lovely deep red designer dress with princess cap sleeves and a lace overlay. According to Clair it’s only saving grace was a huge floret on the hip.

Shoe shopping went about the same as dress. They managed to get her to agree to black patent leather and Cassidy sprung for the new sneakers that lit up when she walked.

After lunch at Chuck E Cheese's (Mandy couldn't wait for the fallout from that), it was time for sunglasses. Clair was tired and just wanted to go home. She had already tripped twice from trying to watch her shoes twinkle as she walked.

“Why do we need sunglasses?” Clair asked in a petulant voice.

“Its tradition buddy,” Caroline told her. “On gala weekend the Priestly girls always get new sunglasses.”

“But why?”

“When we were little the paparazzi liked to follow Mom around and take lots of pictures. If it was night time the flashes hurt our eyes,” Caroline said.

“And in daytime it was just cool.” Cassidy continued

Clair looked up at Mandy her chin trembling, clearly about to cry.

“Tell Caroline not to tease me. Pepperoni can't take pictures. Just because I am smaller doesn't mean I am stupid.”

Clair was small for her age, so it was easy for Mandy to pick her up and hold her.

“Not Pepperoni Clair Bear, paparazzi is a name of annoying news people who take pictures of famous people. To us Randa is just our Mom. In New York City she is kind of famous so news people take her picture. If we are with her they take our picture too.”

“Oh ok”

“And,” Mandy prompted her.

“I’m sorry Caroline.”

Caroline reached her arms out and took the girl from her sister.

“No worries buddy, Cassidy and I are well known teasers.”

She kissed Clair on the top of her head.

“Let’s get some glasses and get out of here.”

Mandy narrowly avoided a temper tantrum when she tried to tell Clair that ‘duckie sunglasses’ weren't on the menu.

“Ok You can have these but when we are in the city or out with Randa you have to wear the black ones.”

Clair nodded and promptly put the yellow and orange monstrosities on.

Caroline grinned at Cassidy.

“She may not have Mom’s fashion sense but holy cow does she have her temperament!”

Both mothers were out when the girls arrived home. Mandy managed to talk Clair into changing out of her new outfit and into her pajamas before they returned.

***
When Cassidy came down to breakfast she found Caroline staring at the newspaper with a look of absolute terror.

“We are dead. She is so going to kill us.”

Cassidy grabbed the paper and there on Page Six in all her fashion free glory was Clair. The caption was benign, ‘The Priestly girls out for lunch’ and then a second picture of them getting into the limo, sunglasses on. Page Six had taken to color photos so there was no escaping the full effect of their sins.

“Oh god, this is worse than the time the guy with the telephoto lens got a shot of mom feeling Andy up in the back of the limo.”

“Wow what did they catch Mom doing now?” Mandy’s voice came from behind. “Unless she was picking her nose or something I can’t imagine anything worse than that.”

Her sisters silently handed her the paper.

Mandy gasped, “Ok then, I think nose picking might be better.” She looked at her sisters with an appearance of calm but her voice shook as she asked, “Are your passports up to date?”

“Why, are you planning a trip?”

The girls jumped, they had not noticed Andy enter the kitchen. The three looked at each other as if in a silent conference. Caroline nodded and Mandy handed the paper to Andy.

“Shit,” she said quietly. “What in the hell were you thinking? Are those ducks?” After another moment, “Oh God, tell me the location was a coincidence! I got the cold shoulder for two hours for McDonalds, I am not taking the fall for Chuck E Cheese's”

After a moment Andy said, “Estonia, she doesn't know anyone in Estonia.”

“Who doesn't know anyone in Estonia dear? If someone needs a contact I have just discovered a lovely new designer.” Miranda sat down at the table.

“I guess that’s out,” Andy mumbled as she bravely handed her wife the paper.

Miranda studied the paper. She looked up at her table mates and then back down at the paper. She had yet to say anything when Clair bounced in to the room and climbed up on her lap. Clair squealed with glee as she saw the picture in the paper.

“That’s us! Guys somebody tooked our picture and put it in the news!”

When Miranda looked down at her little girl she visibly melted.

“Did you have a fun time shopping with your sisters Angel Girl?”

“Yup, they said we should buy sunglasses in case of the papa…prapa..”

“Paparazzi dear?”

“Yea, them,” she frowned. “You can’t see my shoes light up. They are really cool Randa. When you walk they light up!”

“Really, how wonderful,” Miranda sent a glare to her older daughters.

“I got a party dress for tonight.” The expression on her face clearly expressed disdain for the purchase. “But I got this stripy dress too,” she looked at her mother expectantly. “Do you like it?”

“Very nice dear, it’s by Zoe I believe, is it not?”

The elder girls nodded their heads vigorously hoping the designer label will make up for the style.

Clair looked very serious, “Caroline bought my Sponge Bob shirt so we didn't spend too much.”

“I see,” Miranda said dryly.

“I love my new sunglasses, look it has duckies?” Clair was bursting with pride. Then she looked kind of sad. “I promised my sisters I wouldn't wear them tonight or when we are out together.”

“They told you that?” Miranda’s voice feigning surprise. “I don't know what they were thinking.”

She smiled lovingly at her youngest and ran her hand through her hair.

“You can wear your duckie sunglasses whenever you want.”

Four jaws dropped in shock.

“When you are wearing things you like you are always wearing a smile.”

She pointed to the grin that Clair was sporting in the picture.

“And as long as you’re wearing that smile you are the most beautiful girl in the world. Even if you were wearing an old bag!”

***

Even Clair noticed the change in the room as her mothers descended into the ballroom.

“How come everyone is looking at Randa?”

“Because,” Mandy said proudly. “She’s the most important person in the room.”

“And the best dressed,” Caroline added.

“And the prettiest,” Cassidy threw in.

“Oh,” Clair said not really sure she believed them. She looked at Mandy. Mandy who never teased her or lied to her. “Is Randa really that important, like the president or something?”

“It’s a different type of important. But to some people, these people, she is.”

“Is that why it’s too bad she got stuck with me?”

“No!” Caroline said. The sharpness in her tone made the other three jump.

“Clair, Mom was so happy when you came. She loved you from the first minute she saw you in your little pink bunny pajamas.”

“Yea,” Cassidy jumped in. “I don’t think she put you down for three days!”

“That’s because my first moms died and she had to make me stop crying.”

“Clair Bear," Mandy said. " she loved you so much she almost got a pilot and whole flight crew fired from Air France!”

“Why?”

“Fashion week was about three weeks after you came. It’s the most important time of the year. So she was half over the Atlantic Ocean when she decided that if she was gone for the week you might think she died like your other moms. She had a fit. You should really ask Emily to tell this story. She makes me practically pee my pants every time.”

Clair cocked her head to the side, “Emily-Emily or Aunty Emily?”

“Aunty Emily, the British accent really adds something. So anyway Mom started demanding the plane get turned around. Emily and Nigel finally got her calmed down and promised to put her on a plane back home as soon as they get to Paris.”

“So she came back home?” Clair asked.

“Nope, when Mom’s assistant Emily saw what was going on she called Donnetella and Martha. Tellla hadn't left New York yet so you and Martha flew over with her. Momma and I had to stay home. I was pissed.”

“I think Andy has a scrapbook of that week. Mom kept you with her for the whole thing,” Cassidy chimed in. “I couldn't wait to see the fashion news each morning.”

“You threw up on Ralph Lauren!” Caroline said laughing. “Then Mom stopped the Michael Kors show to change your diaper!”

“She insisted Donna Karen make her a diaper bag to match her ball gown!” Cassidy said with tears of mirth in her eyes, “But the best was when she and Valentino opened the dancing on the last night. You were sleeping in her arms. Haven't you seen that picture?”

“I know there is a picture of Randa and some man dancing with me.” Clair said.

“That picture was in every fashion newspaper and magazine in the world, it’s iconic.”

“Just because she knew how to take care of me doesn't mean she wanted me.”

Mandy gazed at her little sister and then smiled as an idea came to mind. Just as she was beginning to speak she noticed that Miranda had walked up. She looked devastated at Clair’s words and was reaching out to her. Mandy shook her head and gave her a look that said back off. Miranda backed away and Clair didn’t notice she was there.

“Did you know that when I was born I was very sick and almost died?”

Clair shook her head no and the twins looked at her surprised.

“Well I did and it made Momma afraid to have a baby. Randa and I tried to change her mind but she wouldn’t.”

“See,” Clair said. “She didn't want a baby.”

“Don’t interrupt rug rat, you have to hear the whole story, Ok?”

“Ok, but don't call me that.”

Mandy smiled and continued.

“So anyway she eventually changed her mind but by then Randa was afraid she would be too old. She was afraid that if she had a baby she wouldn't be able to take good care of it because of her age.”

“Wait, how do you know all this?” Caroline asked.

“Thin walls and a basic knowledge of the subjects, now hush. So anyway they decided they wouldn't have a baby. But it was because they were afraid.”

“See I told you, stuck with me.”

Mandy glared at Clair for the interruption and then sent Miranda a stay back look.

“Clair Bear do you love your bicycle?”

“Well duh, Mandy, it’s my favorite thing in the whole world.”

“Do you remember when you told Randa you didn't want a bicycle?”

“Yea, Grace fell off hers and I was ascared of getting hurt.”

“But then Momma bought you one anyway and taught you to ride it.”

“Yup, she said I learned really fast.”

“Do you feel stuck with your bike. Do you wish Mom never gave it to you.”

“No way, it’s the best.”

Mandy put her hands on both sides of her sister’s face and stared into her eyes.

“So you are glad Momma made you have a bicycle even though you were scared?”

The two girls stared at each other solemnly. The twins and Miranda waited almost holding their breath as they watched the exchange.

“So I'm like my bicycle?” Clair said with a tad of wonder in her voice.

Mandy laughed and hugged her. “You got it little sis, you're her favorite thing in the whole world.”

Miranda moved forward as though she couldn't stay out of the conversation for another minute she looked at her middle daughter gratefully.

“I don't know Miranda, I would say she is one of my four favorites.”

Clair went to throw herself in her mother’s arms. All three of her sisters reached out and grabbed her before she could wrinkle Miranda’s dress.

“Oh for God sakes girls, I let her throw up on Lauren, a little wrinkle won't kill me.”

They all broke into laughter.As Clair received hugs and kisses from her mother Caroline looked over at her twin.

“Holy shit Cass, you aren't kidding the kid really is scary freaking smart.”

“Language Caroline, and your sister’s middle name is not freaking.”

***
Miranda smiled as her friend Donetella settled in at their lunch table.

“Thank you for coming darling, how are you?”

Donetella looked at Miranda speculatively.

“I am fine but wondering what it is that is keeping me in New York when I was planning to leave yesterday. Your assistant was quite adamant that we meet before I left.”

“Ah yes well I do have a request.” The waiter stopped by their table and took their order.

“I see and how is it I may be of assistance?”

Miranda reached into her bag and pulled out a drawing. After looking at it for a moment she passed it over. Donetella took it and studied it carefully. She turned it sideways and upside down viewing the drawing from every angle.

Finally she put it down and said, “Miranda I love you like a sister, but even for you I will not make rainbow overalls!”

Miranda’s mouth nearly hit the table as she snatched the drawing back. She turned the paper as her friend had and still did not see anything other than brightly colored lines and circles. When she looked up again she noticed her friend’s lips twitching as if trying to hold off a smile.

“I am guessing you spoke to Andrea.” Miranda had an eyebrow cocked as she waited for a reply.

“Yes, your wife coached me on what to say if you brought out that drawing.” Dontella laughed, “What can I do for you my friend.”

“I would like you to consider a children’s line using these colors and including animals.” Miranda blushed as she continued, “Clair thinks the clothes I buy her are no fun.” She cleared her throat “My daughter told me that Walmart has fancy clothes and the ones I wear are boring.”

The waiter raced over when the sound of Donetella’s coughing rang out in the quiet restaurant. As she wiped her face clean of Donetella’s beverage Miranda decided to never again mention Walmart in a discussion with the designer.

“You know I use many of these colors and include wildlife. My girl’s selection had butterflies this season.” Donetella’s voice was testy.

Miranda’s blush only got worse as she replied. “She wants zebras, elephants, giraffes and ostriches.”

Donnetella put her hand to her forehead.

“Eight years ago you came to me with a request for a dress designed by your 5 year old daughter. Now you come to me wanting an entire line. You want the house of Versace to create an entire line of clothing based on the whim of your five year old child?”

“Yes,” Miranda almost whispered. She squared her shoulders and met her friends eyes. Her voice was a little firmer as she said, “Yes please, I do.”

“And? I know you, there is always an and.”

“Her birthday is in three months. I need something casual that we can wear to her party.” Miranda closed her eyes and continued with gritted teeth. “We need matching outfits.”

After a moment of shocked silence Donnetella’s entire body shook with laughter. She put her head in her hands to collect herself but when she looked at her friend she couldn't stop. Tears were running down her face as she took deep, heaving breaths.”

“I will do this for you Miranda. I will do this with joy. But I have to know why this startling departure? This is your fourth child and the first time you have needed a matching ensemble.”

“Someone made her believe I resented her. She overheard someone calling it a tragedy that I am forced to raise a child this late in life.”

“She believed this trash? My God did you tell her about Paris? How could the child doubt you?”

Miranda held up her hand amused.

“You have been spending too much time with Miranda, she can’t hold herself to one question at a time either.”

“How could any adult be so stupid? What but love would cause you to hold up Tom Ford because your ‘Angel Girl’ had not finished her nap?”

Miranda chuckled, “True, but unlike the other girls Clair doesn't understand exactly who I am. To her I am just Randa. Randa her mother with apparently no fashion sense.”

Donnetella managed to hold back her laughter but it was clearly a close call.

After a few bites of her lunch Miranda locked eyes with her friend and said in a very serious voice, “Your mascara holds up very well, what brand?” She smirked as her friend burst in to laughter again.

For the rest of the meal they moved on to other topics. The two women always enjoyed each other’s company. When the meal was over Donnetella leaned in and kissed her friend good bye.

With a sultry voice she whispered in her ear, “It will be ostriches. I will make history as the designer that dressed Miranda Priestly in ostriches.”

***
Clair’s sixth birthday dawned brightly. She was having a party at Chelsea Piers. The celebrating would include gymnastics and rock climbing. When the child woke she found a wrapped box with a note at the end of her bed, ‘Open now! love Randa.’

The box contained bright green pants with two inch white stripes down the sides. They were blazoned with alternating elephants, zebras, giraffes and ostriches. Her shirt was a short sleeved, cream colored cotton tee decorated with small rainbows randomly placed all over. A black windbreaker with green piping was included as well as a ball cap with the Versace symbol in rainbow colors.

“Randa!” Clair yelled as she ran into the kitchen. “These are the best clothes ever!”

When Miranda stood up to hug her Clair stopped, her eyes widened with surprise. Miranda’s bright green pants were graced with a wide belt that matched the sides of Clair’s pants and her cream colored short sleeved blouse sported a small embroidered rainbow above her heart. Folded on the table was a black blazer with green buttons and embroidered ostriches on the lapels.

The child ran to her mother and wrapped her arms around her in a big hug.

“We match!” she said her voice high with excitement.

Miranda leaned down and kissed her daughter’s glowing cheek.

“That we do Angel Girl. Just like the day you came” Miranda tapped her daughter on the nose with each of her next words, “We. are. a .perfect. match.”

Sitting at the table Mandy watched amused, shaking her head.

“Ostriches, for her she is wearing ostriches.”

Andy smiled at her and replied. “You’re surprised? You must know by now that when that woman loves, she loves all the way.”