CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and TWENTY-TWO
Wrapped in small towels, the kids went to get warm at Honey’s gas fireplace.
While she could have dressed Maggie, she knew that her daughter would want do what her friends were doing. So, she dug around until she found some of her old T-shirts. She was small, but the kids were smaller. Her old T-shirt fell almost at the kids’ ankles. She dressed the boys in blue “Lipson Construction” T-shirts from when she was in high school and worked as a “sign girl.” She dressed Maggie in one of Jill’s old T-shirts from her work at Pete’s Kitchen.
Honey scooped out small bowls of ice cream for the kids. When they were done, they talked about going back into the tub. Honey had to smile at how happy the children were in each other’s company. When they’d finished their ice cream, she re-dressed Maggie and Mack.
“I bet the other kids are awake by now,” Honey said. “Why don’t you go find Jackie and Eddie?”
Maggie and Mack looked at each other.
“Can we go?” Maggie asked.
“Of course,” Honey said. “But you have to wear your masks. We don’t want to get sick like Jabari.”
Maggie gave a sincere nod.
“They’re by the door,” Honey said. “I’m going to keep Beau here to get dressed.”
“Can he come out to play with us when you’re done?” Maggie asked.
“He’ll be there,” Honey said.
“Bye, bye, Beau,” Maggie said.
Maggie ran to the door. Mack waved to the boy before running after Maggie. She grabbed a mask and put it on Mack. Then she put one on herself. The kids ran out the door.
Honey turned her attention to Beau.
“Let’s see if we can make you more comfortable,” Honey said.
Maggie had been such a tiny baby that Honey knew all of the tricks. She modified a diaper to fit Beau perfectly. She redressed him.
Without saying a word, the small child hopped up and ran to the door.
“Mask!” Honey said.
The boy grabbed a mask, put it on, and ran out the door. Honey grinned after him.
She felt like she needed a nap after all of that wild interaction. Shaking her head at herself, she grabbed her forearm crutches and went out into the main living room in time to hear Valerie and Maggie talking. Beau was hugging his brother. Joey an Máire were walking toward the toddlers.
“I was worried about you, Maggie,” Valerie said.
“My mommy really needed me!” Maggie said.
Valerie looked from Maggie to Mack. The boy nodded in agreement with Maggie. Valerie glanced at Honey. She shrugged. Valerie smiled.
“Can you try to remember to tell me next time?” Valerie asked.
Maggie and Mack both nodded.
“Beau! Nice to see you too,” Valerie said. “We’re headed outside to visit with Delphie’s bees.”
Both Maggie and Mack cheered. Valerie winked at Honey, which was the signal that she was doing okay.
Honey went back into her office and sent a note for her assistant to call her when she could. Ten minutes later, Honey was back on her call with her assistant.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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