Friday, December 11, 2009
Today's muse: The One-Minute Writer
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Mason dragged his pillow case to the front door; a mutinous expression fixed on his five year-old face. The pillow case held everything he would need while living on his own: two yellow Tonka trucks, three pairs of underwear, one box of Cheerios and his teddy bear.
Marie watched as her son lumbered by her. He stared straight ahead, his eyes avoiding hers. She caught her lip between her teeth and clamped down to keep from smiling.
“Mason, honey.” Mason’s pace hesitated just a fraction, but he continued toward the door.
“Did you remember to bring a pillow?” Mason’s footsteps stopped. He hadn’t thought to bring a pillow. The case was filled with more important things. His mother came around the corner and looked down at him. “What about a sleeping bag?”
Running away was becoming more difficult than he imagined. But he didn’t think he had a choice. It was bad enough his parents had brought home a new baby; what made it worse was that it was a girl! Ever since his baby sister had come along, his parents weren’t paying as much attention to him. They were constantly fussing over her and dressing her in frilly things. It was disgusting!
Marie crouched down and searched the hazel eyes that were so much like his father’s.
“Mason,” she waited until he met her gaze, “if you leave, who will teach Sarah to ride a bicycle when she grows up?” He contemplated this new twist. Not only could he teach her to ride a bicycle, but maybe he could teach her to throw a football, too. After all, his friend, Jason had a sister who played hockey. Not yet ready to give in, Mason simply jerked his shoulders.
“Sarah will also need someone to look out for her,” said Marie, hoping to sweeten the deal. “It’s a huge responsibility being a big brother. I thought you would be really good at it, but if you’re not ready yet…” Her voice trailed off as she stood up and turned to walk away.
Mason’s hand shot out and hooked around her arm. “I can stay,” he mumbled to the floor. Marie smiled down at the top of her son’s fair head, remembered all too well how it felt when her little brother had come along.
“I know this is a big sacrifice you’re making, Mason.” He nodded, but didn’t look up. “Would you like me to make you some chocolate chip cookies?”
Mason peered up at his mother and nodded again. As they walked to the kitchen together, he slipped a small hand in hers and said, with a note of defiance, “Maybe next time you can bring home a baby brother.”