Mother of Dragons

My children think I am a dragon.

I mean this in the literal sense. My children honestly believe in my ability to transform into a large, wing├ęd, fire-breathing beast. After much discussion it has been determined that in dragon form I am an iridescent, pearly white and that my eyes are blue and gold, sometimes one of each color. My oldest son has read many books about dragons and has concluded that I am not merely an earth or water or fire dragon, but that I am that most mystical kind that encompasses all these. "Like the Golden Dragon," he tells me, "except you're a white dragon."

"Mother of dragons!" says my younger son.

"Queen of dragons!" says my daughter.

A Western dragon, certainly, because I do have wings, after all. (Eastern dragons do not.) The kids pepper me with riddles and assume I speak and read Latin, which would amuse my Classics professors because my Latin is only marginally better than my Greek, which is practically nonexistent.

I have found this alternate identity useful in disciplining the kids. A particular stare and tilt of my head seems to suggest to them that I may be in "dragon mode," on the brink of transformation. Sometimes I growl deep in my throat for emphasis. This is met with nervous laughter and sometimes outright shrieking; if they think I am really, truly angry they run to their rooms to hide under their blankets.

It's probably wrong to do this to them. But it's kind of fun.

Of course there are many questions. "How do you keep your human form?" (We've talked about how, the longer I stay in this form, the harder it gets to turn back into my dragon one.) "But you would turn into a dragon to protect us, right?" Oh, absolutely. "Can you fly?" I haven't in ages . . . And, inevitably, "When will you teach us how to turn into dragons?"

I'm teaching you now, little ones, and you don't even realize it.

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