She placed the last pan in the dish washer, ignoring the way everything shook when he pushed off the counter again and again at the end. He’d hit another growth spurt, since the trip to Lake Superior and he was well and truly up to her shoulder now, and growing more and more excited about the end of grade school. He’d convinced her to let him pick his own haircut, and the spikey bit at the front make him look like a thirteen year old, instead of the ten year old boy she was used to. She’d caught him watching internet videos about surfing the other day, and practicing how to stand.
Thea stopped, and looked up at him. “What kind of boxes, and why?”
“Moving boxes.” He grabbed an apple off the table. “I wanna go ahead and pack the games closet, I don’t need anything out of there before the end of the year.”
“We’re moving, right?”
“Yes.” Thea wiped her hands. “We’re moving. I just don’t know when yet.”
“Still.” Seb shrugged. “Might as well start now.”
She crossed her arms over her chest and leaned against the counter. “Is that all this is, being excited about Hawaii?”
“It’s Hawaii.” Seb flushed. “It’s like the farthest west I’ve ever been. Like it’s so far west it’s almost east right?”
“That is cool.” Thea cocked a brow at him, because there was no way that was all it was. Her child was a little strange and he hung on to the most unusual ideas, but he hadn’t been particularly fixated on cardinal directions for a while.
“And maybe Auntie Kay said this would be the last one for a while. Like she’s gonna come to Hawaii too and then we’ll…stay, right?”
“That’s the plan.” Thea watched him, the way he couldn’t stand still with excitement, the way he wouldn’t quite meet her eyes.
Seb often wore guilt the way his father had, with nervous energy. It’d gotten more and more pronounced as he got older, even without James there with them, and she couldn’t help but remember the few times she and James had moved together, and the way she’d had to work to keep him from packing the things they needed before it was time to move.
And this would the first move Seb could really be involved in. He’d been too young, and she hadn’t really thought to ask him last time. She sighed, and wrinkled her nose. “The rest of the empty boxes are in the box room. There’s a roll of tape in the junk drawer. Don’t pack anything we could even possibly need before the end of the summer.”
“Okay.” He grinned, bright, and dove for the tape. “Cool.”
“And then when you’re done with the games you can come help me look through the house listings,” Thea offered. “Marie sent over a new batch today.”
He didn’t need to be guilty over wanting to stay in one place, and while telling him why it wasn’t going to be the end of the world for her job wasn’t really possible, she could make sure he understood it was okay to be excited to move.
Up next is X:Xenopus!