Fable of the Still Broken Washing Machine
In the Guardian: On abortion and disability

'Stay Here'

From the moment he stepped off the bus on Wednesday, Charlie was on the hustle to go out, get out, get in the white car, go here and there -- what has become the demanded routine so often and especially on the long Wednesday afternoons and evening when Jim teaches late. This time (with one more Dadless Wednesday to go next week), Charlie and I did 'stay here,' in the house, with not even a walk, with nary an excursion, last week's having not gone so very well.

Obviously, Charlie was not happy about this. It was not fun. But a no-brainer 'tis that being in the house is better than in a moving vehicle in traffic with a nerve-ridden teenage in severe angst and with a definite history of fight-or-flightness.

Exhausted from the effort to keep it together, Charlie conked out at 6.45 pm for an hour. He still wanted 'go to' when he woke but his expression showed he knew he was just asking. He went into the kitchen on a sudden and asked me to heat up bagels from the freezer and eyed a bowl of apples till I handed him one.

Jim took a taxi back from the train station in Newark and, a moment after he'd entered, Charlie smiled, said 'bedtime,' and went up to bed.


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