Blindsided 

Tonight after dinner, while Kristine and Ruby took the recycling down to the garage, Henry told me he had something to tell me as soon as his mom and sister were safely out of earshot. When he heard the garage door close, he turned to me with a smile on his face and said, “I know that you and Mom buy all the Santa presents. I know you stuff our stockings. I know you hide the Easter eggs. I know all of it.” 

I was completely blindsided. It’s August 28th. Who brings this up at this time of year? I mean, it’s not even Labor Day yet. These are the types of questions/assertions one starts to expect around Thanksgiving. Halloween at the earliest. Not in the dog days of summer! I was not prepared, damn it. 

As I heard the girls coming back up the stairs, and as my son just stood there, smiling at me, all I could muster was, “Why are you talking about this right now?” I was panicked. What if this was some sort of a bluff? 

Well, it wasn’t a bluff. When Ruby left the room again, I loudly started doing the dishes and beckoned Kristine to the sink. 

“Henry just brought up a very unexpected topic,” I said, with the intonation of a question. 

“Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you. He brought it up today after school, so I told him everything. He asked about a bunch of other stuff, too.”

And so starts 5th grade for Henry and 3rd grade for Ruby. 

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