Why, Dario wanted to know, did Mommy want to take his drawing?
“Because I like to have it on my desk at work,” she said.
“Well, because when I look at it, I think about you, and I imagine you at pre-school, and it makes me think about all the fun you’re having. It’s like having a little piece of you with me when I miss you,” she said.
This was satisfying.
The next morning he waited until it was bright enough to see his Thomas the Tank Engine poster across the room. That was when he was allowed to go in to her bed. Her hair was all over her face.
“Mommy. Mommy,” he said. He couldn’t shake her with the present in his hand, so he elbowed her instead. Gently.
She was blinky and smelled of bed. Her voice was beddy too.
“What is it, Dario?” she said.
“I have something for you. To take to work. Here!” He dropped it carefully into her hand. She squinted. He worried that it wasn’t morning yet after all, even though he’d waited for Thomas the Tank Engine to come out of the dark.
“It’s a piece of me,” he said. He felt proud.
“What…is it?” she said. She sounded sleepy.
“It’s my scab. From my leg.” he explained.
She peered at her hand.
“To take to your desk at work,”_he explained again, scratching the Bubblicious-pink welt left below his careful harvest. “For when you miss me!”
She crawled up onto an elbow, put the scab on her pillow and glanced from it to his leg. He’d known she would be thrilled. “I’ll get a Kleenex so you can carry it in your purse.”
Daddy rolled over. Big and hairy, groaning. The pillow moved. “For God’s sake, Jonathan, mind the scab,” said Mommy.