He climbed onto the bed beside Scott who was hiding out from all the birthday party kids. He sat there for a while. A little weird. But he's practically our own. Zander's BF since first grade. As welcome here as family.
"Zander's real lucky, you know," he says.
"Yeah, why's that?"
"Cause he has you."
And he goes on to say that his dad just moved out and he hasn't seen him for a week and he misses him so much.
And all I want to do is hug him and tell him how sorry I am and that he's welcome here any time he wants or needs to get away.
But he's almost eleven. Hugs aren't cool. So he accepts a pat on the back and a Saturday night sleep-over invitation and my promise to always let him in when he knocks on the door.
And he looses his cloudy mood in party mix and birthday cake and proclaims loudly to the room full of boys, "Zander's mom's cool. She says fart!"