Friday, August 2, 2019


We’re pulling slowly out of the library parking lot, and Barrett laments,  “Ohhh, I wish I could look at one of our new library books, but they’re on the floor by my feet.” 

I say, “Go ahead and get them, buddy; I’m not on the road yet.”

“You mean,” he asks incredulously, “to uncklebuck my seatbelt?!”

Later, on the way home from the grocery store, I cheerfully remind them that when we get home, it’s time for haircuts. “Oh mom,” he begs sincerely, “can I please have a beard? Can you please give me a beard?” 

Completely caught off guard, I fumble a bit. Meanwhile, Will is yelling, “You already HAVE a beard!” Barrett’s face is naturally a bit hairy (we call him “our little Esau” behind his back, occasionally), but I don’t want to say something that may inadvertently wound him. 

“Barrett,” I reply, “kids can’t grow beards.” 

“Yes they can!” he retorts. “I saw a kid with a beard, once!”

“Are you sure it was a real beard, and not a costume?” I ask.

“Well I don’t know, maybe it was a costume,” he says. “But Mom, please can I have a beard? I really want one.” 

“Barrett, I can’t give you a beard. Plus... you already kind of have a little bit of a beard, on your sideburns.”

“Yeah I know,” he replies quickly and happily, “but I want it to grow over my nose, like dad’s.”

Lately, the past two mornings, Barrett has been helping Mac out of his crib and bringing him into his own bed to “sleep.” Then he dresses Mac (over his dirty nighttime diaper) in Barrett’s own clothes. Mac has come downstairs in giant clothes, with a matching giant, proud smile. This warms my heart unspeakably, because Barrett LOVES to sleep in, and hates to be bothered in the morning in any way. I certainly  haven’t asked him to get Mac ready in the morning. At all other times of the day, he almost always looks after Mac- he’s done this on his own since Mac was mobile- and the fact that he’s taking on this caretaker role even in the morning, setting aside his own desire to sleep undisturbed, and doing it of his own volition, delights me. 

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