expected

The next day. A new conversation. ( Yesterday: unexpected)

“Good Morning,” Brad sheepishly says.
“Morning. Would you like some tea?”
Yesterday is over.
Today is here.
It’s easy for me to forgive.
Without saying a word.
I figure it’s best to forget.
Yesterday’s mishap isn’t something to hang on to.
To drag out.
It’s over.
Today starts anew.
“Yeah. I want tea. Thanks, Mom.”
“I’m making oatmeal. Want some?”
“Yeah. Sure.” He seems relieved I didn’t bring up yesterday’s bitch-fest.
We eat breakfast, together.
We watch a little TV.

Then I clean.
He plays video games.

After a bit, I make lunch.
“Before you eat, I need you to pick up your soccer net. Take it apart, or drag it to the back yard.”
“Alright,” he quietly says as he opens the front door.
“Thanks,” I tell him, my voice exiting through the kitchen window.
I watch him.
My son.
He’s a good kid.
Just growing.
Trying to find his own grounding.
Wants some independence.
Soon enough, he will have it.
I know.
“You want juice or milk with your lunch?”
“Juice,” Brad says as he walks back into the house.
Washes his hands.
“Thanks, Mom.”
“How does it taste?”
“It’s good.”
I smile.

“Later, this evening I need to go out. Do a few things. Wanna go?” I ask him.
“Mmmmm….”
“We can rent a movie.”
“Can we get something for dinner? To bring home? Eat while we watch?”
“That sounds good. Sure.”
We go to Rite Aid.
To develop photos of my students.
We go to Stater Bros.
To rent two movies from RedBox.
“Where would you like to go to get food?” I ask.
I always let him decide.
Why not?
It’s really his thing, not mine, to pick places.
I’ll go anywhere.
I don’t mind.
“Why do I have to decide? I always have to decide,” he questions.
“Oh. Well, every time I mention a place you seem to give me a reason why we shouldn’t go there. So, I figured it’s easier to just let you chose,” I answer.
“That’s true,” he smiles. Sort of laughs.
“How about McDonald’s?” he decides.
“Oh, yeah. A Filet-a-Fish sounds pretty good. And fries. A shake, too,” I tell him.
“I want Chicken Selects,” he states.
I’m not surprised.
We don’t go out to fast-food joints too often but, when we do, often enough it’s Mickey D’s.
The Selects are always Brad’s top choice.

Bagged food on his lap, I drive home.
I pull into the driveway.
Not all the way.
Enough so that he can let himself out, before I back completely in, next to my daughter’s car.
He needs the extra space to open the passenger-side door wide open.
He gently closes the door.
I back in.
He waits by the front door.
I turn off the car.
Get out.
Walk across the grass.
Unlock the front door.
Open and close it carefully.

No kitchen table tonight.
We both plop down on the couch.
Watch a funny movie.
Eat fattening food and slurp down a cold drink.
The company is good.
For both of us.

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