Last Saturday, our front door rang at 8am, sending Grover into an apoplectic fit. Luca triggered our home security system to see who it was, sending me into an apoplectic fit. It was a crew of Elijah’s pals. The chubby one, the athletic one, the nerd, and some kid I didn’t know. It was a little 80’s movie cast shuffling on my stoop.
I informed Eli he had visitors, but he felt the process of actually putting on underpants and regular pants would take too long, so I told the crew Eli would catch up to them at the park. Unfortunately, by the time the whole pants issue was rectified, the kids were off on an adventure. Probably to go walk on train tracks and find a dead body.
Wait, is Eli allowed to have adventures now? He’s been under lock and key for almost 10 years. And now his pals were off doing stuff unsupervised. What’s the official parent policy on this? Don’t you get arrested in some cities for letting your kid do stuff? At the same time, I didn’t want Eli to grow up watching the world go by from a sad little room while he practices violin, occasionally waving his bow at kids playing stickball while I demand a cup of tea in my drawing room, dressed in my ratty old smoking jacket. Man, this got 1800’s really fast.
I decided at the next adventure opportunity, Eli could go. And that opportunity came the next day when his little pal came over for a play date.
“Dad, can we go to the store and buy some snacks?”
I agreed, but not before totally ruining it. “Cross only at crosswalks. Do not speak to anyone. If you see anyone doing anything remotely scary, run. Do not accept a ride from anyone. If you see someone with an assault rifle, run.”
Eli’s friend looked on in horror and secretly reminded himself to thank his parents for not being nuts.
After they left, Diana stared out the window and clutched her breast. “My baby,” she cried.
I tried to busy myself building some Ikea thing Diana purchased to busy me, but I kept checking the time every 43 seconds. Were they gone too long? Was that a siren I just heard? Is that smoke in the distance? Are those Godzilla footsteps?
Eli and pal returned with a collection of salt and sugar poison and I resisted the urge to hold him in my arms and beg him never to leave again.
I did what any dad would do. I ate all the Doritos.