For the Last Time
I read to my kids at night as often as I can. We’ve been doing this since Liam got off the bottle, and our current reading selection is the first in The Warriors series about feral cats.
With the first cat death Moira teared up and was soon sobbing. She swore up and down that it wasn’t that the cat, a non-character we didn’t even know, died, but rather she just couldn’t handle that phrase, “For the last time,” as the cats mourned their companion. I tested her on this the next time a cat died, and once again the author used the phrase. I left it out and Moira did NOT cry for a character we knew better than the last. So, now I pussy-foot (intentional pun) around her trigger phrase.
I just got home from buying baskets, chocolate, jelly beans, etc., for what I believe is the last time anyone under our roof will believe in the Easter Bunny. Jim and I have our suspicions that Liam already disbelieves but is playing along. However, we cannot test a faith so worn and fragile that it is meant to be broken. We can’t be the ones who break Liam out of that egg. He needs to come into the next phase of childhood on his own, but doubt it will be a crisis of faith for him. I expect his transition to be graceful.
Yet, Moira’s faith cannot be doubted. She believes not only that real magic wands are for sale at the Renaissance Festival (where not even the accents are authentic) but that if she’s very lucky she’ll be able to buy one of the “real ones” when we go this summer. She is budgeting her allowance as to not miss the opportunity for her own magic wand and has great and mighty plans for it. I’m afraid by spring of 2014, my little one’s faith may be shaken by wands that don’t work and an older brother who has it all worked out. . . we shall see.
As we turn a corner in childhood at home, at the Target checkout line, I paused when the cashier tallied my purchase, remembering all the other Easters and Christmases, lost teeth and the general wonder of childhood. I admit, I teared up heading back to my car, which will soon shed its booster seats, with the words, “For the last time,” blowing on the spring wind.