“You could sit here, you know, and smoochy, smoochy.”
After more than four years, what’s missing has become more than an empty chair at the dinner table. It’s more than an unfilled gap. A wish ungranted.
As a child, I thought that maybe, just maybe, there really was a world with dancing penguins if you jumped just so through the colorful dust of sidewalk chalk. There was something intriguing about having a lady with a magic parasol float gracefully onto your doorstep to smooth out the wrinkles of the day. But as an adult forced into bringing help into our life simply to make it livable, the lilting voice I remember is now a nagging crone.
Spoonfuls of sugar, indeed.
But maybe, just maybe, we could toss our wishes and dreams into the fire and watch them float into the air to find what’s missing and bring it home. For the past 20 minutes on this lazy Sunday we have wandered in the soft rain, crafting their advertisement.
No pimples. Tattoos only on appropriate body parts, like arms. Two tattoos are okay. More than four is not. No bad stickers, which are mostly on motorcycles. Dark hair, like ours. Dirty blonde is okay. Sun-drenched blonde that … you know … “shoots out” is not.
He has to laugh and know exactly where to tickle Mom so that she laughs the beautiful laugh and smiles the beautiful smile. Muscles, but not too many muscles. Maybe see if he can do the “Pec Pop of Love.” Must be taller than Mom. Can’t be fat. Has to be kind of the same size as Mom, or like Mom, because she is the perfect size.
Has to be a “gamer.” Must love movies and LEGOs and Harry Potter. If he does not love Harry Potter, he needs to watch the movies and learn about Harry Potter. Needs to have fun and act like a teenager. Like Grampa, who has fun being old because he acts like a teenager. Must be an adventurer. Likes boats and airplanes. Definitely.
Needs to love hockey. And dogs. And lazy Sundays. What if he doesn’t love us?
Can’t have a silly car. Or a dirty car. Especially if it has lots of bad stickers on it. Has to have girls of his own. At least one because Mom isn’t having more babies. Needs to want to have “boy time” and to teach things like how to shave and other things about girls. Has style and knows style. Has to come and watch them at their things and sometimes pick them up from school. Must love Christmas. MUST. Doesn’t need to like cake. And ice cream. Definitely ice cream. Likes to sing and maybe dance. Will pick up Cocoa’s poop so that we don’t have to. Can fix the freezer and unlock the garage door that we lost the keys to. Likes sushi. And crab. And shrimp. And scallops. And peas. And popcorn. And hot tamales.
Has to be able to swim. Likes rock climbing. Will go bike riding and on walks. Is active.
Has to have his own money because he can’t just ask for Mom’s all the time. But he can’t work so that we can do fun things. But he has to help Mom so that she doesn’t have to do everything by herself all the time.
Can’t be mad a lot. Has to be respectful that we had another Dad, and he has to think it’s okay when we are sad because we miss him and help us feel not so sad. Has to spend time with us, not just time Mom, so that we know he’s right.
He can’t be smelly. He has to take showers. And he can’t burp. But farts are okay. Has to chew with his mouth closed and teach Spencer to chew with his mouth closed.
“You’re okay with that? Mommy meeting someone? And if she likes him she can kiss him?”
“Yes, but he has to be the right one."