"You're never going to believe what happened," Cade said, over the phone. "All of a sudden, there was this loud crash, and--come to find out--the rod in Dad's closet had fallen down."
"Had he been swinging on it?" I asked Cade.
"Had Tabitha [Cade's stepmom] been swinging on it?"
"No," Cade said. "We were all sitting together, downstairs, when it fell."
A little while later, Jim, the girls, and I picked up Cade. "What's your dad doing?" I asked. "Trying to fix the rod in his closet?"
"No," Cade said, "it came completely out of the wall."
"Was your dad swinging on it, when it fell?" Clementine asked.
"No," Cade said.
"Well, was Tabitha swinging on it?" Clementine asked. We all cracked up.
Sometimes, to be joyful is to open my eyes (and ears). I'm thankful to have my boy back after his spending a week in East Tennessee, with my parents. I'm thankful for Cade's dad Jason, who not only attended Cade's seventh-grade orientation, alone, to pick up Cade's schedule, but also did a fair amount of driving to pick up Cade from my mom.
"I've been around a lot of kids in my lifetime," my Mom remarked, "but I've never been around a kid as easy to please as Cade." She went on to tell how she'd taken him to the fair and offered to buy him tickets for the rides; he wanted to ride only one.
I overheard Cade turning down new tennis shoes from Jim, and Jason said Cade turned down new clothes from Tab. He did ask me for some new underwear, offering quietly that he doesn't care for the style of his cousin's hand-me-downs; he likes well enough the hand-me-down pants and shirts. So I bought him some new underwear, also some school supplies (mostly from the Dollar Tree). We sharpened his old #2 pencils and rounded up lots of other things he already had: a hole punch, colored pencils, black pens, highlighters, glue sticks, scissors, a hand-held pencil sharpener, a pocket dictionary. He thanked me for my help (I think--after last year--he was just glad to have everything on the list. I laughed until I cried, tonight, reading about last year.); packed his own lunch; set his alarm; and crawled into bed.
"Goodnight, Blueberry," he said, referring to the absurdly round tummy under my blue tank top. (Jim had cracked himself up, earlier, with some sort of Willy Wonka, juicer reference.) I love how Cade slides his twelve-year-old hand across my belly every so often. I just love having him near. He reminds me that kids grow out of biting and hair-pulling, that they don't always dump their plates on purpose; fight going to bed; or pull all of the Clorox wipes out of the container, just because.
Today, Cade said, "Mom, I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I read it in one night."
"I haven't read it, yet," I said. "Did it make you cry?"
"No," he said. "I think it was supposed to, but it didn't."
"So who are the five people you're going to meet in heaven?" I asked.
"I don't think heaven is going to be anything like in the book," he said. "But it was still interesting."
I'm crazy about my big kid.