The Kid and I
“What you doing?” Baxter asks from the doorway. I start – I didn’t know he was there. I’ was lost in a Zen trance, searching for the last stories residing in my headspace.
“Writing, buddy. Why aren’t you in bed?”
“’Cus I don’t wanna. Why aren’t you?”
“Because tomorrow’s Daddy’s big day. It’s been a whole year coming. Gotta be ready for it.”
“You do?” he asks, padding into the study in his ninja turtles jimjams, “how come?”
I sigh. I run my fingers through my hair before letting them hover over the keyboard, as if the words are just going to flow out of me magically. “Because you gotta be prepared for anything that takes a long time to arrive. Take your sister for instance. Rin was in Mommy’s tummy-”
“Gross,” Baxter interrupts.
“I know, right? But anyway, she was in there for nine months, and for those nine months we prepared. Me and Mommy hardly talked about anything else, and when that day – and your sister – finally arrived, we shut up so we could hear what Rin had to say. You understand?”
“Hmmm I don’t… I don’t think…” Baxter says. He’s looking at the glare of my computer screen, transfixed by the empty slate. He’s a strange kid. He looks at me to finally finish his sentence. “Nope.”
“Next you came along. And when you popped out, we told your loudmouth sister to shut up so we could hear what you had to say. So now, on the eve of the end of days, Bax, I need you to shut up so I can hear what the words have to say.”
* * *
“Did you really tell our six year old to shut up?” Maria asks, arms folded haughtily across her chest. Bax is standing behind her leg looking mock-hurt.
“Snitch!” I hiss at him. He pokes his tongue out at me.
“And did you really liken a writing project to the birth of your two children?”
“Oh come on,” I say innocently, “It was a metaphor!”
“You’re a metaphor!” Baxter shouts and runs out of the study.
Baxter 1, Pappa Blame 0.
Tomorrow is the big day!!