I was minding my own business in the kitchen contemplating the refrigerator, when Haley Anne (currently 12) approached me all bold-like, and full of herself.
Daddy, did I tell you about Emma?”
She has a younger sister named Emma Jo. So, I planted my feet, put my hands in my pockets, and waited for the news.
Obviously she read my mind (my Mom clearly channels through this child), and says:
“Not OUR Emma, MY FRIEND Emma.”
I kept my peace and maintained eye contact.
Hands on hips Haley Anne volleys the following at me:
“I KNOW I told you some of this – but never mind… Well… Poor Emma’s Uncle was thrown in jail for no good reason. And, her Mom is in bed for two years!”
Haley Anne pauses for effect, and then adds:
“Her Dad was living in a house with her step Mom. She [Emma] is best friends with her step Sister. But, the step Mom through them both out! She had a dog with her step Sister. But, the Step Sister kept the dog! Poor Emma!!!”
I had some questions forming in my own head. But, never-mind because, Haley Anne who is quite indignant now says:
“Her Uncle will be in jail for twelve years, and he didn’t even do anything (but, apparently this has something to do with a sixteen year old girl, beer, and a broken pool table). Her Mom (not the step Mom [I think]) hurt her back at work. She was supposed to rest before she HAD to go back to work. But she fell down some stairs and the doctors say she may have to stay there for TWO YEARS! Emma says she is paralyzed and all she can do is watch television.”
All I can think of is:
“Should we invite Emma home for Christmas?”
“No”. [deep breath]. But, now poor Emma and her Dad have to live in a really small creepy little house because he can’t find a job, and the step Mom won’t let him and Emma come back. The house is in a park.”
“Oh yeah… They are from Kentucky.”
Peace be my Brothers and Sisters.
Brian Patrick Cork