Monday, June 2, 2008

Cats In The Cradle

One of the nice things about being away is the warm welcome home I can always expect.

"Hey buddy, how'd it go this weekend?" I asked my oldest after I finished unpacking from my trip to the cabin.

"We figured something out," he said.

Youthful knowledge is so precious. "What's that?" I asked.

"We do just fine around here without you. You can get that apartment you're always talking about as long as you send us a check every month."

"That's sweet," I replied, thinking, It seems like only yesterday he was excited when I got home.

"Yeah, we didn't miss you at all," added my youngest before shouting "Woo-hoo!" and giving his brother a high five. Fortunately the middle child was elsewhere so he couldn't participate in this emotional flogging.

Digging through the refrigerator I found leftover steak. I took it out and examined it. My oldest caught me.

"That's Mom's," he yelled. "I made it for her last night. Put it back."

"It looks good," I said weakly.

"It was good. You can't have any. It's Mom's."

"So it would appear," I said.

"If you had your own apartment you could have steak whenever you want," he added helpfully while his brother danced another victory jig.

"I'd take the TV with me," I told them. It gave them momentary pause.

"We'd buy a new one with the money you'd have to send us," the oldest finally responded.

"There wouldn't be enough," I said.

"He's got retirement money!" shouted the youngest, turning excitedly to his brother. "We could use that."

"Sorry," I said. "That's not how the system works. Kick me out and you'll be lucky if the judge gives you enough to get a box of generic corn-flavored flakes for breakfast every week. Besides, I'll just head for a place without extradition."

"What's extradition?" the youngest asked. The oldest seemed to know, as he glared at me venomously.

"It means I can live on a beach with my TV and no worries," I told him. "Sort of like the life I have now except in reverse."

"What's going on?" asked the Lovely Bride as she came in the room.

"The boys were just saying how much they missed me," I said.

"Really?" she asked, skeptically.

"You bet. And I was saying how much I missed them."

"Uh huh," she said.

"Mom, what does extradition mean?" the youngest blurted out.

"It means your father's talking nonsense again," she said.

I closed my eyes, just for a moment, and imagined myself back on the dock.

"Yes, nonsense," I said before giving her a kiss, to the great disgust of my sons.

"Well, I missed you," she said, kissing me back.

Good enough.


Adorable Girlfriend said...

The last part is very sweet.

To be married and have that...

Jennifer said...

Pretty picture.

billy pilgrim said...

umm, leftover steak?

I know what the words mean separately but I am unable to picture anything when they are used together like that....

Brando said...

"It means I can live on a beach with my TV and no worries," I told him. "Sort of like the life I have now except in reverse."

Fantastic line.

So this is what I have to look forward to?