This morning at breakfast, Lil E begged Bruce and I to tell him a story. And really, how can you resist a kid with a chin covered in oatmeal, waving a plastic kiddie spoon around in front of you? Bruce began.
"Once upon a time, there was a little boy..."
On the heels of his last words, Lil E waved his spoon again, "Mommy, tell me a diff'rent story!"
I took my turn and when I saw the next request about to come, I got there before he could.
"Lil E, you tell us a story." And so he took a turn.
"Once upon a time, there was a daddy who looooooved to watch Lil E play golf. He HIT! da ball out of the sand and onto the green and he use his driver and putter to hit in da hoooooole."
The he stopped with a satisfied pause. I asked him for more, maybe share a mommy story.
"Once upon a time," he leapt in with a decided nod, "there was a mommy who loooooved to work. She work at da cafe and Lil E cryyyyyy because he wants his mommy."
In the silence, he nodded and took a big bite of his breakfast. Of course, I teared up. Of course, Bruce made a sympathetic face and then quickly changed the subject. And of course, that damn guilt -- the one I so ardently push away with all of my intellectualizing and passion for my work and for those hours spent typing away at the only free wi-fi spot in our neighborhood -- crept up behind one swift, simple toddler story early this morning.
Dagger, meet heart. Heart, meet dagger.