Birthday Par-tee

John hosts 11 children and their parents today. We have a bounce house. We have chips. We have salsa. Not too hot. We have napkins. We have it ready to go. Then it rains. Not a little rain. Buckets. Gutters full. Maybe four or five inches in an hour. No problem, just bring all those little feet indoors.

Today John had some intriguing questions:

“Daddy, what did your daddy, named John, ask you about?”

I had to think. I suppose that he asks me something most days, if I listen.

John is perched on his new Tonka bicycle. Red flames and stiff training wheels. The rain has paused. Only paused. More buckets come later.

“He told me to pay attention to what is unsaid, John,” I said. I remembered him as I searched the toolshed for a trowel. Something about craftsman tools, damp air, cement and wd-40. Our shed just seems like his kind of place.

“Daddy, what did he do in the morning?”

This was John’s question all day about me, about Susie, and about Lisa Davidson, who was visiting.

“He used to read a book, the same book, while sitting in his bed. He did it every morning.”

John thought about that.

“Daddy, what is your status?”

I love that.


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