The Present

By 7:48 a.m., Ethan is on the bus and Dennis, Mikey and Gavin are on their way to Shawnee Mountain. That leaves Sean and I. All alone. And it’s pretty quiet.

He would like a breakfast wrap with sausage and egg and no cheese – absolutely no cheese. So we eat and talk about Power Rangers Megaforce. I took some pictures of my gym’s childcare room yesterday and I show them to him and ask if he’d like to play there while I exercise. Sure I would. Great, because I’d like it if you did too.

We run a few errands and from the backseat he talks to me about how tall he thinks other 4 year-olds are (taller than him), the best attributes of all of his Skylanders, and he asks me if daddy really ‘makes money’ at work – like, prints it. No. But he gets paid. We stop at the Library where he hopes the dogs being walked will bark at him (they don’t because ‘they don’t want too’) and where he hides under a desk that he has been hiding under since he could crawl.

I reward him with a lollipop for staying in the childcare room. He thanks me for the treat. During lunch, he asks to watch American Ninja Warrior, and we do. He asks for grilled cheese, and I make it. No one talks over him or disagrees with his selections – of either. We do some laundry. He sits on the machines and turns the dials and pushes the buttons – because he is the only person home with me, I remember to let him.

We look for some very specific legos in the giant lego boxes: a short spikey thing, two long rods and more jewels. We venture out to the shoe store for some sneakers for me. It’s simple to shop with my little preschool pal – no one is encouraging him to join in their game of manhunt or ‘Marco Polo’ in the middle of the store. On the way out he asks if I like the sneakers I got and can he have just one Skylander from GameStop. Sure, why not?

We both sit down at home and his head nods and he cat naps while I make phone calls and do some paperwork. Our bubble is popped by Ethan barreling off his bus with requests for cookies or chips or both  – with a share for Sean too.

I want to put these few hours into a box, wrap them up and put a ribbon on top.

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