Made a pie. Vanilla. Instant pudding. The fat-free kind, with fewer calories in the box than in a bite-size chocolate bar. Graham cracker crust. Avery’s choice. The vanilla filling, too. Actually, he had asked for green filling, but I told him that lime Jell-o doesn’t make for a good pie filling (hadn’t thought about key lime pie, though it might be a bit beyond my current pie-making skills), and he had said, OK, daddy. ‘nilla pie is fine.
I put the powder pudding in a bowl, Avery helped me pour the milk into the bowl, and he counted while I stirred. Vigorously. No need to use beaters. Or a mixer. Vigorous stirring. Until Avery reached 100. He counts slow. And always gets lost somewhere in the sixties and seventies. He knows the numbers. Still, gets lost.
Put the pie in the freezer. To set. Holly was still here. She was playing with Aurora is the room the kids share, though Aurora uses more often than Avery does.
“Daddy making pie, mommy,” Avery said.
How easy, Avery’s excitement.
An hour passed before Avery started asking how many more minutes until he could eat pie.
“One more minute? Two more minutes?”
Then: “I’m not good at patient.”
Took the pie out sooner than I should have, but Avery was hungry and I was hungry and I was tired and I put a slice in a bowl for Avery and I took a spoon to the pie, and Avery finished his slice and wanted more, and I gave him more, and within an hour or so, the pie was eaten. Not exactly split evenly, but mostly split evenly.
He was watching Tangled and I was reading comic books, while we ate pie, and when we finished, I put on “daddy T,” which is how Avery describes anything that isn’t a cartoon. A sick parent and a scared kid.
“Why you crying, daddy?” Avery asked.
I thought he couldn’t tell, but he always can tell.
“Just kind of sad,” I said.
Avery was falling asleep, rubbing at his eyes, and I told him he could go to sleep. Avery said, “OK, daddy.”
“I love you, and I’m glad you’re my kid,” I said.
“I love you, and I’m glad you’re my kid,” he repeated.
“You’re my best friend,” I added. And I kissed his ear. The left ear. He sleeps on his right side.
“You’re my best –”
Avery was asleep before he finished his sentence.