The last two weeks of weather could be described with one word – wet. And maybe leafy. But that’s more than one word. Fall had done its duty and dropped all the leaves from the trees. The sidewalks were slippery and deep with layers of multi-colors. Stevie enjoyed wearing his galoshes every day because he could jump into every puddle. He forgot to carry his shoe bag one day to school and his teacher made him walk around in stocking feet all day. Thank God there were no holes in his socks. I would have been mortified.
My mood was as dark as the skies and I baked bread and made soup and stews most days to combat the weather. By the fifth night of a liquid supper, Steve requested something that didn’t require a spoon and bowl. I made meatloaf and mashed potatoes. They were semi-squishy and didn’t require a lot of chewing or thought on my part.
After the first few weeks of school, I entrusted Junior with the job of walking home from the bus stop with Daisy. It was only half a block but I made it sound super important and raised his allowance a quarter a week. He was on board with that.
I still waited by the front window most afternoons to watch them walk home. Stevie was careful with his little sister and held an umbrella over her head and guided her around the deeper puddles. I saw her smile up at him with love as they approached the house as he put a protective arm around her when the raindrops fell harder.
Somehow that smile lifted my mood. I made steak and baked potatoes that night. Before bed, I pulled Junior aside and told him how proud of him I was that he was taking such good care of Daisy. He told me that it was easy because she was always so sunny. I agreed.