We did the pumpkin thing. Two hours and five pumpkins and a bunch of boys and a wooden block of knives that, when I sent a picture, made my friend cringe.
The boys had stripped their T-shirts and were up to their elbows in orange. We now had jack-o-lanterns. Lop-sided smiles and triangle eyes and a mustache that spread across Mr. Pumpkin in a curling grin.
We also had a mess. A seeds-on-the-floor, mountains of pulp, stringy goodness everywhere kind of deal. Lonny and I were trying to get control of the kitchen again. Every ladle had been used for scooping. Markers, caps off, were covered with slime. It was easier to send the boys to the tubs, rather than have them help...
We were working in the kitchen when we heard a voice in the dining room. We peered around the corner. Zay sat at the table. He'd gotten himself a slice of banana bread from under the glass dome on the buffet. He had a paper plate. He somehow had gotten himself a mug of milk, too.
Right in the center of the mess.
"Sit down with me, Dad," he said. Zay smiled and nodded toward a chair. "Talk with me, Dad," he said. "Sit down and talk?"
Lonny scanned the wreckage. He glanced at the grandfather clock. He looked at the sink that bulged with dishes and the counters that would need to be scraped to come clean. Then his gaze settled on his son.
And he smiled.
"Go," I said. "Sit. Listen."
Lonny set his towel on the counter. He took a place at the table with his boy.
The clean-up work, the getting straight to bed, the stack of things to do. It didn't seem to matter that much.
Share my heart.
Sometimes from the softest voices come the strongest things.