ME: Dylan, aren’t you excited?

Uh-huh. I am.

ME: You’re almost three. You’re gonna be a big boy.

DYLAN: Uh-huh. I am.

ME: And you’re gonna go to preschool this fall.

DYLAN: Uh-huh. I am.

ME: And you’re gonna meet all these new boys and girls.

[Long pause as Dylan looks at me, thinking about it]

ME: Just imagine all the new friends you’ll make at Holy Cross.

[Long pause]

DYLAN: Daddy … Jack be my friend at Holy Cross. … I bring Jack.

ME: Well, that’d be nice, but your brother will be at White Oaks. He’s gonna be a first-grader. You know that.

[Long pause]

DYLAN: No, I bring Jack. I bring Jack to Holy Cross.

ME: No, honey, Jack will be at White Oaks.

DYLAN: Daddy … [Lower lip out] … I bring Jack.

Four days later

ME: I know you guys are having fun, but I want you to stop it.

JACK: But Daddy, he’s laughing

ME: Guys, no more open-tackles on the cement. I mean it.

JACK: But Daddy, I’m the velociraptor, and he’s the herbivore.

ME: I don’t care.

JACK: [Protesting] But someone has to be the prey.

Three days later

JACK: …. which just goes to show you, Daddy …

DYLAN: [Serious face] goes show you, Daddy …

JACK: … that a terrabird could never survive–

DYLAN: tare-bird never survive …

JACK: [Glancing down at Dylan] … an attack by a pack of sabertooth tigers, because–

DYLAN: ‘tack by packa sabertooth tiger, because–

JACK: [Screaming] Stop it! … Stop copying me!!!

DYLAN: [Looks away] I not copying you.

MOMMY: Jack, he’s just doing it because he wants to be like you. He loves you.

JACK: That’s not the point. I want him to listen.


ME: Time to wake up, Dee-Dee.

DYLAN: [Groggy. Eyes opening] Where’s Jack?

ME: He’s still with Mommy. He’ll be home soon.

DYLAN: [To himself] Jack be home soon.

Two hours later

MOMMY: Okay, Dylan. Now tell Jack.

DYLAN: I missed you, Jack.

JACK: [Eyes closed as he eats. Happy] Do you love me?

DYLAN: I love you, Jack.

JACK: How much do you love me?

DYLAN: Bigger’n the whole worl’.

JACK: [Eyes closed, chin up] And for how long?

DYLAN: For ever an’ ever.

JACK: I love you, too, Dee-Dee.

[Long embrace slowly turns into wrestling match]