here is a “squeak” of the clean in a story about the importance of promises:
“The Promise of Fire Flies”
Promises mean everything … when you’re little.
Sitting on the kitchen floor in her diaper and the night shirt her Daddy had made for her, Dani had that single belief in her heart. Her Daddy promised her he would take her outside before it got too dark to catch fire flies. And it was the word Promise which made it so special for her. It meant that he was going to set aside the time so she could indulge in being little and being little with him.
She drummed her fingers on the glass Mason jar for which he had poked holes in the lid. This would be where she would put the fire flies when she caught them. And afterwards, it would serve as the most amazing night light in her little world.
She tossed her head back and forth, her pigtails flopping to and fro as well. She was waiting for him to return from the upstairs. He said he would be right back, but that was like … two minutes ago! It seemed like she had waited an eternity for him all ready.
She tried sitting patiently, but the squirmies of excitement had crawled inside her diaper and were making her ancy. Dusk was in full swing outside and, from the backdoor of the kitchen, she could see the flickering fire flies in the darkening trees of the backyard.
She looked down at her night shirt, trying to distract herself until her Daddy came to get her. It was white and stretched down to mid-thigh. On the front of it was the phrase “Thank God for Little Girls”, written in pink, cursive letters. Beneath the phrase was a fire fly with a smiling face.
This was the night shirt she wore only on nights in the summer when she and her Daddy went outside at dusk to catch fire flies. She had just received her night time bath which, along with the promise of fire flies, had given her a second wind of energy before bed time.
She sat Indian-leg style and placed the Mason jar on her lap. Was he ever going to come back? Three whole minutes had now gone by!
She set the Mason jar on the floor, got up onto her hands & knees and crinkled her crawl over to the edge of the living room carpet, looking up the stairs to see if he was coming down yet. Then, she crinkled her crawl across the kitchen floor to the screen of the back door, looking outside at all the dancing fire flies in the air.
“Is some little girl ready to catch fire flies?” she heard her Daddy’s voice say from behind her.
She flipped around, plopping down on her diapered bottom and nearly tinkling herself with excitement and nodding vigorously. He slowly walked up to her with one hand behind his back. He must’ve had a surprise for her. He only hid one of his hands when he had a surprise to give her.
“I’d like to go outside and catch fire flies but you have a bump behind your ear and I’m a little concerned by it,” her Daddy said with worry in his voice.
She flicked the back of both of her ears several times and shook her head no. There was no bump behind her ears and dusk light was wasting.
He slowly reached behind her right ear and produced a pacifier, but not just any pacifier. This one had a fire fly design on the front of it. Drawn in by hand and detailed, he had made a simple white paci into an eye-opening sight.
Her eyes certainly grew wide, looking at it as he attached a white string to the shoulder strap of her nightie. Attaching the other end of the string to the handle of the pacifier, he touched the nipple to her lower lip.
“Open,” he said, softly and sweetly.
She parted her lips and took the nipple in her mouth, looking up to him with innocent eyes that sought the finding of his promise.
“How many fire flies should we catch?” he asked with playfulness to his tone. “Five?”
She held both hands up and flashed all her fingers twice.
“20?” he asked with disbelief.
She smiled sweetly behind her fire fly pacifier and nodded with a giggle.
“Well, we’d better get outside and start catching them, then,” he said, picking up the Mason jar and helping her to her feet.
She stood up and immediately embraced his chest. He returned the hug and rocked her back and forth while kissing her forehead and patting her diapered bottom.
“I love you, BabyGirl,” he whispered to her. “And a promise is a promise.”
He opened the screen door and she sprinted out into the back yard, doing cartwheels in the grass. He had lived up to his promise! The Promise of Fire Flies.
Dani did a somersault in the middle of the yard and then waddled straight for the edge of the yard by the trees. It was darkest there and the fire flies were seemingly dancing in the air as if they were joyful for the return of night so they could shine for all to see.
She kept trying to catch them, but couldn’t get close enough to any of them. For the fact that they were all around her, she still couldn’t find any exact one to catch until after they had lit up. And by the time she saw them light up and had run over to them, she could no longer see where they were.
She waddled in one direction to find the fire fly that had just lit up in a particular area, but then lost sight of it. Turning around, she saw another one, just ten feet away. So she waddled over to where it was, only to be unable to see it anymore.
While she was having fun, she was beginning to get frustrated and the fun-loving joyfulness on her face was quickly being replaced with a scowl and a frown.
“Princess, just stand still for a moment,” her Daddy said, walking up behind her and placing his hand on her shoulder. “Let them come to you.”
“Why will they come to me?” she mumbled behind her pacifier.
“They will come to you when you begin to dance with them,” her Daddy said softly. “Right now, they can tell that all you wanna do is catch them, but when you dance with them, they’ll see the love that you’re filled with. And when they see that love within you, then they’ll want to be your night light. Let them come to you.”
Dani listened to her Daddy, standing still for a while. This gave her time to think about what he said. She had run into the backyard with the intention of capturing the fire flies, not to enjoy the dance or to be a part of it.
Before long, the fire flies began to light up very close to her. Then one lit up directly in front of her. She reached her tiny hands up and cupped them around it, being certain not to hurt it or crush its wings.
Holding the first fire fly in her hands, she shifted her fingers a bit to allow a peephole between her thumbs. She held her hands up to her eye and looked in. And the little fire fly just kept lighting up inside her hands.
Her Daddy unscrewed the lid of the Mason jar and she carefully put the fire fly inside it.
She ran back to the trees for more and began jumping up high to catch some of them, squatting down low to catch other ones. Her Daddy began to help her and soon they a whole jar, filled with fire flies – each happily illuminating.
She kept a good count in her head, making certain they got twenty. At points in time, he stopped and watched her as she ran one way and then another. All the twinkling bugs in the air around her were flying towards, almost as if they wanted to be the next fire fly she caught.
He smiled watching her dance with the fire flies. She was so happy and her littleness of joy and fun-loving silliness was beaming out of her just a brightly as those fire flies lit up to tell her they were there.
When they were done, she jumped up into her Daddy’s arms and he handed her the mason jar of fire flies to hold as he carried her back inside the house, kissing her forehead and cheeks while patting her diapered bottom and telling her how proud he was of her.
He set her behind the coffee table in the living room as he went into the kitchen to fix up her night time bottle. She set the Mason jar on the coffee table and stared at the twinkling bugs inside. She was mesmerized by how happy they seemed to be a part of her night light.
Her Daddy returned and sat on the couch behind her, lifting her up into his arms and cradling her on his lap as he leaned her back into his arms and removed the pacifier from her mouth with his pinky finger.
“Open,” he said softly as he placed the nipple of her bottle to her bottom lip.
She took the nipple in her mouth and began nursing from it gently. Warm milk flowed into her mouth and she swallowed each mouthful while remaining fixated on the fire flies in the Mason jar.
Warm milk had an almost instantaneous effect on her, making clear that it was time to settle down and that nap time or bed time was soon. What an amazing night of sleep this would be. She had the most wonderful night light any little girl could hope for and her Daddy’s promise of fire flies had made her night one that would be rich with instant memories and lasting twinkles.
For a few minutes, they sat in silence, both watching the fire flies in the Mason jar as she continued to nurse from her night time bottle. Then, as she began to near the end of her warm milk, her Daddy spoke up.
“Did you know how the first fire fly discovered it had a light inside it?” her Daddy whispered.
She timidly shook her head no.
“It all began a long time ago when a tiny little fire fly was born. He was flying around one night and was so filled with joy and happiness that he suddenly lit up,” her Daddy explained. “At first, he covered his belly so that no one could see, but soon he realized that it felt wonderful to light up when he got happy. And he should his talent to all his friends. They saw how happy it made him feel. And then he should his talent to his family. And they saw they joy that it brought out in him.”
She finished her bottle and he sat her up. She embraced him around the neck as she always did when being burped. And he spun himself around, facing away from the Mason jar so she could keeping watching them.
“And soon, all the fire flies of the world began to light up, too,” he continued as he light patted the middle of her back while rocking her back and forward. “And they would start to hold parties at the best time of day when their lights would shine the brightest … right after the sun went down.”
Dani’s eyelids were growing heavy as her Daddy kept patting her. Finally, she let out a few little burps and sighed afterwards – a verbal sign that she was done burping.
He stood up and picked up the Mason jar, carrying her upstairs to her nursery. Lowering the side of her crib, he carefully placed her on her tummy – her favorite position to go to sleep in. Rearranging all her stuffed animals into their appropriate positions she felt they needed to be in at bed time, he covered her with her baby blanket and then set the Mason jar of fire flies in the corner of the crib.
Kneeling down next to her, he spoke softly.
“That first fire fly had to be pretty brave, but because he was he made all the fire flies of the world happy,” her Daddy said. “Just like a fire fly, you have something special inside of you, BabyGirl. You possess a littleness that, when you open your heart and let it out, you are able to make the entire world happy because of … even the fire flies.”
Dani smiled brightly behind her pacifier. He leaned in and kissed her forehead while patting her diapered bottom.
“Sleep well, my little Princess,” he whispered lovingly. “Dream Big about Being Little. And dream of all the love you have to share. It will be returned to you by those who love you the most. You just have to show them the way.”
He raised the side of her crib and quietly exited the nursery room, turning off the lights so the fire flies could light her dreams.
……………. The ABDL BedTime Stories