“I’m too SICK to go with you. I don’t want you going outside alone!” I said.
“It’s no problem. There are adults outside!”
“Uh … okay, fine,” I said. “Fine. I’ll watch you from the window. How much money are you taking?”
“I dunno! Who cares?” he said, throwing the wallet aside and running out of my room.
He’d been sitting on my glider playing Mario Kart on my phone when he heard the ice cream truck outside. I don’t normally watch him alone, but this time it would be OK. My wife was going by herself to pick his brother up at daycare.
From the window, I could see his skinny little body scurrying down the driveway, the money held high in his hand. He wore only socks, no shoes. I picked the wallet up from off the floor. It was empty inside. As he stood in front of the ice cream truck behind the other kids, I took the opportunity to briefly look away so I could prepare my powdered supplement. Then I slugged the drink back.
When it finally came his turn, he pointed up at the menu on the side of the truck. The driver craned his neck outside the big window to get a better look. Then Thomas made his selection. I proudly witnessed the final exchange—some dollar bills for two popsicle-looking ice creams.
“Papa, I got one for Charlie too!” he later came up the stairs to my room blabbing. “I put them in the freezer.”
“How much was it?” I asked.
“I don’t know. Who cares?” he said.
“Did you spend it all?”
“Yeah! But don’t worry about it. I can get you more money. It’s no problem. I’ll give you some money from my piggy bank!”
“Um, OK,” I said. Then he went back to playing Mario Kart.