Wednesday, July 18, 2012


The temperature on my car's digital thermometer displays 105 degrees Fahrenheit before I turn the ignition off. I grab most of the frozen groceries and run through the house like a tornado to put them in the outside freezer.  I'm barking orders to which ever child might be gaming in the living room, "There are groceries also in the front seat of the car too!" I can only imagine the havoc the heat is playing on the food while it is sitting in the hatchback during the 20 minute drive from the grocery store.  My paranoia is in overdrive, I've convinced myself the helado popsicles are melting through their individual plastic wrappers.

After the freezer is stocked I calmly unload the rest of the groceries into the pantry. "MAVERICK!" I holler down the hallway for him to come out of his bedroom.

Without a sound he appears in the hallway directly behind me, "Geck!" I jump out of my skin. It freaks me out when he does that! I take a deep breath, "It freaks me out when you do that!"

He flashes his typical cheshire grin.

"Hey Maverick, I called you and Phaedra in here to tell you something." I didn't technically have to call Phaedra into the kitchen. When I'm at the house she's less than a step behind me. She's become my favorite little shadow. "Don't eat the generic-Doritos. They're for a Taco Casserole dinner. Okay?"

After a litany of excuses and blaming the other, absent inhabitants of the house for eating the last bag of Goritos, they both agree.

"I've bought each of you your own special lunches and treats." I look to her, "Phaedra, it looks like Mac got more than you, but it's even. Your food was more expensive."

Mac smirks to himself. His larger pile, consisting of Spaghetti-O's with Meatballs and Vienna Sausages, pleases him. They both say, "Thank you," in unison.

As Phaedra opens the refrigerator to examine her vegetarian friendly Lunchable, Maverick moves into the kitchen and stands in front of the laundry closet. His behavior is odd. Normally he dismisses himself from my presence as soon as he can make a break. But today his chest is all puffed up. He turns to face me and proudly announces, "I mowed the grass all by myself."

I can tell he is the one that mowed the lawn, with the missed spots and all. But, instead of drawing attention to the flaws I decide to cut him some slack. After all, this is only the second time he's ever cut the grass. He doesn't know yet to cut it in two different directions, like the diamond pattern of the outfield in a baseball field.

I smile at him and say, "I saw it was cut. You did a good job."

My compliment is genuine. I smile at him.

He smiles so big, enough to show at least six teeth on the top row!! I feel like we are playing a video game. By giving him that one compliment I earn a level up.

The three of us finish up our short conversation. I head for the door. I declare, "I wasn't here."

Phaedra responds, "I'm not promising anything."

I smile, "Love you, bye!"

As I was walk out of the front door I receive a bonus. Maverick yells after me, "Please drive safely. See you on Friday!"

My inner scoreboard chimes again, I'm credited an extra life, 1-up  I'll take that!

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