I took the boys to the card and comic store last week.
Mr. 11 got off the bus as I was two cars behind its yellow rear.
He stopped to get the mail and to pick up the blue recorder Miss Texas had dropped that morning, thus saving it from The Schnozz's tires entering the driveway.
He wondered what adventure I had planned for his little brother; he was thrilled to be invited to join us. "Just send him in to get me," he said, and I did.
The little one was very happy to share the joy with his big brother.
It's part of what makes him the kindest kid I know.
We drove down Campbell, looking on the east side of the street.
We knew it was near the old Coffee X-Change but we weren't precisely sure.
"There it is!" "NO" "Uh-oh... keep going" "YES!"
Who needs Google Maps when there are little boys in the back seat?
Walking through the door was a blast from the past.
Messers 9 and 11 were easily interchangeable in my mind with Big Cuter in his youth.
They had the same determined stare.
They knew exactly what they were seeking.
Their smiles were contagious.
With a little bit of encouragement, Mr. 9 requested the boxes of football cards from the clerk. He was happily perusing the plastic encased oldies but goodies until his big brother walked by and dismissed the whole endeavor.
"They don't have any good ones," Mr. 11 informed me.
Sadly, his little brother took the condemnation to heart and left the remaining boxes untouched.
There's so much power invested in siblings.....
On they moved to the comic books.
DC and Marvel were boxed next to more obscure publications.
There was nothing overtly scatological or salacious, so I relaxed, leaning against the wall, watching.
Aquaman, Superman, Green Lantern.... those were the ones I recognized. There were so many more that were new to me.
The collectibles were stacked on shelves.
Though The Simpsons are fun to watch on television, snuggled up next to Mom on the bed, there was no need to bring a plastic Marge home with us.
Decisions were not easily made.
"I'm going to collect some and then decide," was Mr. 9's plan.
We left with six plastic wrapped comic books and two gigantic smiles.
I'd spent the time in my own head, remembering my little boy reveling in the smells and the textures of similar stores in California. The details were different, but the feeling was the same.
I am so lucky to have generous friends who are willing to share their children with me.... and even luckier to have children who want to spend their afternoons with an old lady and her credit card.