With my husband and eldest gone for the weekend, it was a slow and steady, and homey couple of days for Nels and I. We embark on more than one walk together, including a quiet midnight mile. I make simple food – tomato soup and sandwiches, cut-up fruit and crudités. I stay home instead of go out. When I do run an errand or go to a meeting, I leave my son home with explicit instructions. A bit of housework but not much. He is content to play, all day long. He and the tribe of preteen boys in our neighborhood are happy to be outside. They have some huge blow-up punch-out dummy, and walkie talkies.When the other boys go home, Nels comes in and fixes a snack, and hops on his computer.
Today, we feed a bunch of these boys whatever they ask for – as it turns out: popcorn, Doritos, popsicles, chocolate chip cookies, cherry Dr. Pepper, and 7Up. I laugh because their parents probably make these things the occasional treat, or only let them eat them after they’ve had something else. In the neighborhood I know the kids like me, but who knows what their parents think. For one thing, my youngest is unabashedly touting the vegan lifestyle. Today a tot comes up to me with a huge glass and large eyes and says, “Can I have some almond milk?” as if it’s the most special treat there is.