"I'm sorry, Mommy."
"Well, I'm still a little mad! I told you I really had to do one thing this afternoon and I needed some quiet time to do it! [I'm Alumnae Secretary for my class at Smith College and the column was due today.] I made you a nice lunch. Even dessert. I let you watch "Fishhooks." But I still had you pounding on the door and screaming?!?"
Her eyes filled with tears. I thought maybe more remorse was on its way. Color me wrong.
"I DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO ANYTHING YOU SAY ANYMORE! I'M MOVING OUT!"
Um, this was new. I turned around so she didn't see me smile. The front door slammed. I figured I'd give us both a few minutes to cool off.
Ten minutes later, I was sitting on the couch when the door opened very slowly. An arm appeared, then a leg. Then a very contrite little face.
"I decided to stay. I wanna be a family again."
"I got carried away."
Awwww. "Give me a hug."
"I figured I would go to Joy's, but that's too far. Then I thought of Nathan's, but it would mean crossing a lot of streets that I'm not allowed to cross by myself."
"But otherwise you woulda been outta here? If Joy's and Nathan's weren't so far and you could cross streets?"
"Well, thanks. That makes me feel special."
"There was one other thing I needed."
"Love." Her eyes welled up again. "I needed love. And someone to tuck me in at night. And make me dinner. And care about me."
"That's good, 'cause Daddy and I want to do those things."
"I did bring my Halloween candy."
"You remembered your Halloween candy but no shoes?"
"What do you mean?"