Far too European

conversations with hank


Hank: What is that?

Me: What?

Hank: Is that peanut butter?

Me: Yup.

Hank: On celery?

Me: Peanut butter and celery is a winning combination. Ranks next to chocolate and peanut butter, you just don’t know.

Hank: I know.

Me: Really? Have you tried it?

Hank: No.

Me: Try it.

Hank: I don’t want to.

Me: You are far too European to try this.

Hank: Am not.

Me: Are too.

Hank: No way.

Me: This is an American CLASSIC.

Hank: I bet I could eat eleven celery and peanut butters.

Me: Prove it.

Hank: Another day.

Me: Suit yourself. (enjoying my snack)

Hank: (watching me, side eye’d, dubious)


Someone’s Missing

conversations with hank


Hank: (walking out the school door) Mama! (from a hug) Where is Amália?

Me: (sans stroller) She is with Quitéria.

Hank: Really? (taking my hand)

Me:Yup. I was just getting ready to leave and she took Molly from my arms and said, “Deixar esta bebê comigo. É muito quente hoje.” (Leave this baby with me. It is too hot today.) So I flew out the door.

Hank: Oh.

Me: I forgot how fast I could get to school without the stroller and how nice it was to let my arms swing in the breeze and I get to hold you hand. It’s been a while!

Hank: Yes.

Me: And we can have a long after-school chat like we used to.




Me: Is something wrong?

Hank: I miss Molly. Can we take the short cut so we can get home faster?

Me: (smiling, squeezing his hand) Sounds like a plan.


Before School

conversations with hank


Hank: Mama, have you seen my sandals?

Me: (feeding Molly, positively plastered in carrots) Yes.

Hank: Oh, (pause) can you tell me where they are?

Me: Where have you looked?

Hank: I looked by the door, by the couch and in my closet and by my bed.

Me: All exceptional places for your sandals, except by the couch, but I think if you look in my room you will locate them.

Hank: Oh… What are they doing there? (dashing off to grab them)

Me: You kicked them off when we were reading after school.

Hank: (returning, sandaled) Ok.

Me: You know what your Grandpa Snitch used to do when we were kids and didn’t put something back where it belonged?

Hank: (shaking his head no)

Me: He’d hide it.

Hank: What?

Me: Yup. When it was a toy it was annoying, but when it was something important it was stressful. Like if it was your backpack and you had homework or you coat and it was winter. Once I remember it was Uncle Jesse’s church shoes and he had to wear his play shoes to church instead. He looked pretty as a picture, head to toe, and then –BAM- dirty lace-ups.

Hank: (giggling)

Me: It taught us to put our things away properly that way we’d always know where they were.

Hank: Yes.

Me: Maybe I should hide things from you.

Hank: Nope, that’s ok. Just hearing that story is enough, besides our apartment isn’t THAT big. I bet if you hide something I could find it.

Me: You think? Shall we try?

Hank: (smiling)

Me: Did you ever find your Christmas presents early?

Pai: (kissing Molly and I goodbye) Time to go!

Hank: (kiss, walking out the door) Yes, but you were smart enough to wrap them BEFORE you hid them.

Me: Wow, no one ever called you dumb.

Hank: (from the hallway) Not one day.