I feel the heat from his face in my ear. "What baby?"
"I love you."
He kisses my cheek and rolls over back to sleep.
I drop them at the corner of school. The little one has an extra heavy bag to carry and return. The big one jumps out of the van.
"Eli, I am picking you up today. Normal spot."
"Eli, please help Lucas, he has that bag."
"Eli, are you sure you have your lunch?"
"Please don't run."
"Love you. Bye."
They cross over with the crossing gaurd and I watch Eli break into his usual run with Lucas struggling behind him under the weight of the bag. Eli stops, looks back, pauses. Lucas catches up. Eli breaks into another run as Lucas lags behind again. Stop. Look back. Pause. Catch up. Run.
I learned that the way to get her to talk to me is to drive. I do my best thinking in that van, she does her best talking.
"Mom, did I even tell you the story of why I put her (best friend) in my phone as Chewbacca?"
"I assumed it was an inside joke."
"Kinda. Well no. OK, just, here, this is what happened."
The story weaves in tween style, lots of Okays and ums and oh-waits. I actively listen as I drive.
"Oh my god Mom, do you even know who Chewbacca is????"