Me: One night, an evil man named Jafar–

Briar: Who’s that guy?

Me: Jafar. One night, an evil man named Jafar and his wicked parrot-

Briar: Who’s that guy?

Me: That’s Jafar, remember?

Briar: Dat guy who is Jafar?

Me: That’s right. Jafar and his wicked parrot, Iago, were waiting in a faraway-

B: Where’s Jasmine?

Me: She’s not here yet, if I can keep reading we’ll find her.

B: We will? Ok, that’s great, mom.

Me: Snicker …in a faraway desert.

B: Where’s Aladdin?

Me: Honey, he’s coming. Let’s get to the next page.

B: Is he with Jasmine?

Me: Not sure, I don’t know this story very well.

B: Dis one? Dis is a story about Jasmine and Aladdin. Do you know them?

Me: I have heard of them. Should I read some more?

B: Sure. You can read to me some more after I get a tissue.

Me: Ok.

B: Could I have some juice?

Me: You bet, hang on.

I return with juice.

B: Ooh, could I have milk?

Me: Milk?

B: Uh-huh.

Me: Like milk in a cup or are you being silly about milk from mom?

Scornful look, which in a few years will come complete with a, “Duh mom!”

B: In a cup!

I return with a cup.

B: Thanks.

Me: Sure. Soon a thief named Gazeem rode up to-

B: Ga?

Me: Gazeem.

B: What’s Ga-beem?

Me: An evil sidekick.

B: What’s a sidekick?

I look longingly at my coffee, now cold, and remind myself that one day she won’t want to sit with me or hear from me.
Me: It’s like a buddy.

B: You’re my buddy.

Me: And you are mne.

B: Can we cuddle?

Me: Sure.

B: Ya gotta lie down for this cuddle.

Me: OK.

We recline together, her head deliciously warm and heavy on my chest, her little hands reaching around me and squeezing, the baby inside me moving. Contended sigh.


Me: Yes, baby?

B: I just love your cute outfit.

I look down at the old flannel shirt I have on with its mother of pearl snaps, the criss cross lines stretching ever so slightly around my belly.

B: The jewels are amazing.

Me: Briar, you are amazing.

B: So are you, mom.

We sight together.

Me: My cup runneth over.