Tonight, 8:47 pm. Hazel and I are laying in the dry bathtub, in my dark bathroom, trying to be quiet. Ginger's looking for us and Ed, her turn at hide-and-seek.
Hazel strokes my cheek. "Mommy, I love you."
"Thank you sweetie, I love you too."
"Mom, if you weren't here our family *******." The limited acoustics of loud kid-whispering in an echo-y chamber manifest themselves.
"Our family what?"
"If you weren't here our family would be ******." Very loud whispering.
"Our family would be WHAT?" Voices on now. I really want to hear this.
"Mom, if you weren't here our family would be CANCELLED."
Heard it that time. Eyes smarting, throat lumping. Ginger's feet come pattering down the hall, closer. Hazel's hair smells like coconut and flowers. I kiss the top.
"Thanks, sweetie," I choke out. "I'm glad it's not cancelled."