Subtle, Hank, real subtle.

Subtle, Hank, real subtle.


Me: Wow, our bathroom smells fantastic.

Hank: (looking up from the book he is reading) Before you say anything else, yes, I tried your perfume, but I don’t think it is a scent just for girls. I mean… it can be for boys, too.

Me: What defines a girl scent and a boy scent?

Hank: Exactly!

Me: How is scent exclusively masculine or feminine?

Hank: How can a smell be for just one kind of person?

Me: Here, here!

Hank: Anyway, I love it. I am trying it out today. I did exactly like you do. I sprayed one spray in the air then I walked through the mist.

Me: Like a pro.

Hank: Mom, if I like how this smell works today I may want a cologne for me. I know it is an investment, but I think I know my smell.

Me: Do share.

Hank: Fahrenheit.

Me: You have great taste.

Hank: Papa has an empty bottle of it.  I found it under the bathroom sink.

Me: You mean I have an empty bottle of it.

Hank: Huh?

Me: That was your papa’s cologne when I met him.  He hasn’t worn Fahrenheit in years. I kept it because I am sentimental.

Hank: Well, I love it.

Me: Me, too.

Hank: Maybe papa and I could share a bottle for Christmas. I saw it at Sephora and I know it is expensive, but if it were for both of us…

Me: No one ever called you dumb.

Hank: (attention back to his book) Not one day.


Family Dinner

conversations with hank


Hank: (knocks on my door)

Me: Come in.

Hank: Mama?

Me: Yah, buddy.

Hank: Can I talk with you about something?

Me: Always.

Hank: (finds his way up and under my covers) I know you aren’t feeling well.


Hank: And that papa is on a call with America and this is the only time they could do it.

Me: (nodding)

Hank: And I know that I normally would love to eat my dinner while watching YouTube and Molly is perfectly happy watching cartoons because she’s three, but I just don’t want to see this family turn into this.


Hank: We’re better than this and I want to make sure that tomorrow night we sit down as a family and have a proper dinner.

Me: (desperately trying not to smile) You mean like we did yesterday, and the day before that and for every dinner your whole life?

Hank: Exactly. I just don’t want us to fall into bad habits.

Me: (biting the insides of my cheeks as to not start laughing) I think that is something we can focus on.

Hank: (gaze to the ceiling, hands tossed up in surrender) I just don’t want to see this family fall apart.

Me: Valid point, I agree. Did this idea just occur to you? Did you get lonely out there at our big table all by yourself?

Hank: Yes! At first I thought it would be great, what I always wanted even, but then I looked around and everyone was busy or unwell and I hated it. I never want to all be in the house and not eating together again.  I will wait to eat if I can’t eat with you guys. We can even have a picnic in here if your too sick to come to the table.

Me: I love that idea.

Hank: Thanks for listening, mama.

Me: I am always here to listen. Thank you for coming to me with your concerns.

Hank: You’re welcome. (burrowing back out from under my covers and leaving just as quickly as he came)




Molly and her "Ducks"

Molly and her “Ducks”


Me: It’s time…

Hank: (groan)

Me: I know.

Hank: (stretching) Argh, I just don’t want to do anything.

Me: Said every single person in Portugal today. Reentry after a holiday, even a three-day weekend, is tricky. You have to be careful with yourself when you reenter the school/work atmosphere from a totally relaxed state. You have to take it slow; surface too quickly and you get the bends.

Hank: I’m going to miss you.

Me: We had a great weekend, didn’t we?

Hank: The best.

Me: I agree, but you know the beauty of December in Portugal, don’t you? Friday is another holiday.

Hank: I forgot completely!

Me: So we get to do it alllllll over again this weekend.

Hank: I want to do it all the same. I want to start with pizza in Fafe, then I want a pajama day, then I want to decorate more for Christmas and drink hot chocolates and then go look at Christmas lights.

Me: A solid plan.