I Am Going To Explode

by jkatejohnston

Labor Day 2013

Dear Max,

Fishing at Southside Park. “We’re living the life. If we catch a crawdad and a bluegill, that’ll just be amazing.” We catch a crawdad and bring it home. Enzo makes a habitat (a small flood) in the backyard. Then it’s time to euthanize the poor thing, which, I read online, you can do most humanely by putting it in water and then freezing it, water and all. I explain the technique and why it’s supposed to not hurt or be at all unpleasant, though that’s hard to believe.

“Let’s kill this thing.” And then as we are about to do it. “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I am going to explode. We can like–you know–freeze it in a fighting posture.” And he strikes a fighting posture and freezes.


“I keep getting werewolves stuck up with vampires.”


“Who wants to see this airplane probably fly?” The airplane is made from his dirty napkin. We are still eating dinner. He launches it. “It flied!”


“Who dares me to do some origami?”


He broke one of his Bakugan figures and another has been lost for a long time. He wanted to go to Toys ‘R Us and replace them. We agreed after much discussion to go tomorrow.

“Mom, I have to talk to you.” I just look at him. Teresa is around the corner sitting at the kitchen table. “Privately.”

“If this is about Bakugan, you can skip it. We already decided we’re going tomorrow.”

“It’s about my money.” I lean down and he whispers, “I’ll give you ten dollars out of my bank account if we can get my Bakugan today.”


Getting ready for school lunches. I explain that we’re going to make oatmeal cookies, not chocolate chip.

“I hate oatmeal cookies.”

“Well they have to be a tiny bit healthy.”

“I don’t even like oatmeal.”

“They have almonds and oatmeal but also lots of butter and brown sugar.”

“If they’ve got brown sugar, I’m in.”