Once upon a time, there was a duchess who was a writer. And the duchess planned a trip away for five days: two days for a leadership conference, and three days to focus on her writing and upcoming deadlines.
She planned every detail for her absence, leaving sticky notes all over her kingdom so the knights and dames could care for her children seamlessly while she was gone. She rehearsed her plan with her two young princes, and they knew how long she would be gone, when she would return, and what would happen each day.
They knew that mommies always come back.
The duchess flew on her unicorn to a land far away, and she joined armies of leaders for the conference. She took pages and pages of notes. She listened and she learned and she engaged the part of her brain that feels smart.
She made lists and plans of tasks to complete for her writing days: people to contact, revisions to make, book outlines to brainstorm.
But then, the duchess got a royal message on her cell phone: her tall prince was sick. He was coming home from school with a fever, chills, vomiting, and sadness.
The duchess changed her plans. She had booked her unicorn flight via a magical website of sparkling pixie dust, and the keepers of the magical prices were not willing to wave their magic wands to find her another unicorn.
So she flew on a dragon instead.
She spent pounds and pounds of gold coins to change flights, cancel hotel rooms, hire a taxi, and get to the dragonport in the middle of the night.
The duchess was given the very last seat on the dragon, and she flew home to her sick and sleepy little boy, who lay on the palace couch surrounded by pillows.
The duchess was disappointed to fly home early, disappointed to change her plans, disappointed to leave her writing agenda incomplete, and disappointed to bid farewell to her brother and his fair lady.
But the duchess will write another day. Her prince needed her more, needed her now.
And that's a fairytale a little boy should grow up hearing - again and again - until he knows the story inside and out.