Washing dishes in the quiet relief that unfolds throughout the house during your brother's later nap hour. Me, in a square cut floral second hand dress scrubbing the morning's cereal bowls, too fast to assume the chalk lines and tiny cars lined out on the drive way could hold you and your brothers long enough for me to finish up the rest of my day's duties in a brief hour of peace I felt entirely deserving of.
I went to empty the trash and saw the neighbor on her porch step looking worrisome, waiting there to inform me of just how a quickly a small piece of the hour I had been enjoying, nearly killed you. Describing the scene of you laid flat on your stomach, sailing down the center of the street trying to find your brother who had ventured around the corner as a car turned blindly into the wide swoop of our culdesac, swerving within inches to miss you.
A vision I replayed hatefully, trying my best to shake it away from all the edges of my late night thoughts as I lie in bed days there after, reminded of how tragically a misaligned second can thrust you into the walls of your very worst nightmare. Bitter over the failed lecture in the backyard, and your flushed cheeks and your hair like wet straw against your forehead, and your half hearted promise to be "faster" next time when I all I needed was "safer." Refusing to fully accept why "his" freedoms - four strong years ahead of you - were still not yours to share.
In the end, we settled on stricter limitations. You, with the promise to be stay out of streets altogether and I, vowing to let the house fall apart and the dishes sit still and filthy in the sink so long as the sun is out and I can bet your five year old quest for new thrills and unthought adventures will always outweigh any notion of logic I try so hard to arm you with.
So we sit, with our evenings in regular disarray, watching the days fall away. You in scraped knees and bare brown feet. Me in the old dresses and stale coffee, clinging to the false security that goes back to believing there is forever and always, another one it's way.