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April 15th, 2017

...my Ritz crackers traded for your potato chips at lunch, that sugary cereal my parents won't buy when I go to your house after school, my dad's waffles with REAL maple syrup for the morning-after-sleepover breakfast, corner-store lime popsicles melting in the July sun.

...McDonald's chicken nuggets and fries after the game, half of your peanut butter sandwich when bullies took my lunch money, the burn of liquor stolen from parents (just to try out of curiosity) cooled by the soothing sweetness of vanilla ice cream, falafel from a roadside stand the first time we went to the city by ourselves.

...overcooked dining-hall pasta and half-melted soft serve frozen yogurt, sunflower seeds still in the shell so they'll be eaten slower, salad topped with salt instead of dressing, skim milk by the quart because calcium is good for bones so maybe the broken ones will heal faster.

...Killian's Red in a red solo cup, egg drop soup and lo mein and fortune cookies that must be read with "...in bed" added to the end, animal crackers dipped in cheap red wine as a makeshift sacrament, morning-after $1.99 two-egg specials at the diner, 3 A.M. paper-due-tomorrow coffee with a hot chocolate packet added to take the bitterness away.

...fish and roasted potatoes because game night is Friday during both Lent and Passover, Bully Hill Sweet Walter White wine, 39-cent cheeseburgers on Wednesday nights, cinnamon hearts for 90% off two weeks after Valentine's Day, stir-fry that can always be stretched to feed one more.

...cake: wedding cake, baby shower cake, 30th birthday cake, congratulations-on-your-new-job cake.

...casseroles and roasted chickens delivered to your home when things are tough, sushi and Dinosaur BBQ and lamb vindaloo when times are good.

...apples we picked together, home-canned spaghetti sauce from your garden, cupcakes I make carefully to avoid the list of foods your son is allergic to, a single hard cider where once there might have been refill after refill of beer from the keg.

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