It is time for us to go. Breakfast took longer this Monday morning, sitting down for toast and jam and peanut butter with Nana and Papa, and now we are running late for school. There is madness as we all jostle at the back door, the dog underfoot, eager to be on our way.
Finally, we are zipped, shod, mittened - buffered against the impending cold. We are heading out the door. Papa calls - what? No good bye hug for me? And with that she is running across the kitchen and lifted high into the air. His whiskers tickle her tummy as her jacket rides high up her body. A pretend growl, squeals of delight. Two weeks he says. We'll be back in two weeks.
The phone call comes 12 days later.
From where I sit, I can see us all frozen in the kitchen, in tableau. I sometimes wonder, if only I could go back and correct him. Not two weeks but 10 days, we'll see you in 10 days.
Perhaps he'd still be here?