I was just falling asleep over my book last night when I realized that I was not imagining the gentle sound of sorrow that emanated from upstairs. Like Miss Clavel (which, what? seriously, she is dressed like a nun. she is in charge of what can only be a convent school. she must be a nun. why is she Mademoiselle Clavel and not Sister Euphemia of the Seven Wounds? also, after a terrific start the book loses its meter entirely and no one cares. why?)
Anyway, like Miss Clavel I ran faster and faster until I discovered Edward on the bottom bunk wrapped in blankets. I crawled into bed next to him and pulled at the fabric until I found a face. Then I wiped the tears away and asked what was troubling him.
He didn't say anything at first; he only continued to cry softly.
Then he choked out, "I was just thinking."
"I was just thinking about Patrick."
"I was just thinking that Patrick is so much older than us and he is going to go to college and when he does he will move awa...aaaa...yy" GULP "and I will miss him so much."
Oh. Oh dear. I hadn't really thought about it but... . I felt a little teary myself.
So I lied. Well, no, not lied. I told him a fable. I told him that the thing I have noticed about Minnesotans - Minnesotans like Patrick and Caroline and himself - is that they might leave the state for a while but they always seem to come back. And then they stay forever.
"Really?" Edward asked.
"But elephants come back to die."
[Oh Christ! Why do we always have to have these conversations in the middle of the freaking night?]
"Ueehrrrh... no. Like... "
[pause during which I was about to fall asleep again]
Edward said, "Like salmon?"
"What? Oh. Yes. Like a salmon. Shhhh. Salmon come back. Shhhhh."
Edward snuggled against me and I was about to fall asleep again when he drew his conclusion:
"So Patrick will go away to college but then he will come back to our house to spawn."