|New York at Night, Vivienne Gucwa|
He sits a little slumped beside the stove and shakes his head over the electric bill. I stop stirring in the rice just long enough to hug him and tease: "Good thing I know how to entertain you for free."
"Yeah," he says. "My greatest source of happiness, lately, is your lovin' on me."
I know he's sincere but add: "And the kids."
"Yeah," he says, "when they're asleep." And we both laugh.
We talked so much about stealing away this winter: taking the train, maybe catching a show. My parents said they'd drive up and keep the kids a weekend here at the house; it seemed for a minute like it might really happen.
But my mom will soon have foot surgery, and we just learned over the holidays: his mama's really sick. We know we need to be careful with our money and his vacation time. We know we need a reliable vehicle and did a thing he hates to do: take on a vehicle payment.
So we rent movies from Red Box and settle together on the couch. I nurse the baby to sleep. I weaned all his siblings at his age, but he's the last, and he smells mysteriously like Play-Doh and Sweet Tarts; there's no reason to rush. The others sleep like angels in another part of the house.