“Will you play with me, Daddy?”
“Not right now, Maise, I’m tired.”
He didn’t look tired. Mommy said the blue under my eyes was because I didn’t sleep good, that my eyes were tired. Daddy didn’t have blue under his eyes.
“Please, Daddy, just play Barbie with me. I can show you how.”
“I said no, Maise.”
Maybe Daddies don’t get blue eyes from being tired. Maybe they just get cranky. That’s what Mommy said Daddy was when he came home from work every day…cranky. I don’t like it when Daddy is cranky. I like it when he’s happy. I like it when he plays with me.
“You can be Ken. You don’t have to be a girl doll, Daddy.”
I know boys don’t like playing with girl dolls. They like the boy dolls that they can play in the dirt with. I don’t let any boys play with my girl dolls. The girls are supposed to stay pretty and clean. That’s what Mommy told me after I made mud pies with Charley Brindle last week and got dirt all over my new dress. She made me change before we went to get my superpower juice.
“I don’t want to be Ken, Maise. Daddy has a lot on his mind. I need to be by myself to think.”
I don’t like thinking. When I think too much my head hurts. Even the superpower juice doesn’t help the hurt go away. Mommy says I need to keep busy so I don’t have time to think about things that make me sad and make my head hurt.
That paper Daddy is holding must be making his head hurt ‘cause he’s scrunching his nose all up. It looks like the paper is from Jefferson’s. I see the name of my superpower juice on the first line. Maybe they ran out! That would be very bad. Mommy says I have to have the superpower juice. I’m not sure why. Her and Daddy never take it. Maybe they’re already superheroes.
I wonder what CareMark Insurance means? That’s on the top of the paper. The bottom says canceled. They did run out of my superpower juice!
Oh no! Daddy’s crying. Daddy’s aren’t supposed to cry.
“Don’t cry, Daddy.” I rub his arm like Mommy does mine when I take the superpower juice and it makes me sick. “It’ll be alright. Maybe I can get strong without the superpower juice.”
“Oh, Maise,” Daddy says and then hugs me close. “You are the strongest person I know.”
Daddy must not know many strong people. I’m tired all the time. I’m not strong. Daddy is the strong one. He used to pick me up with one hand. Before I got to where it made me dizzy. The superpower juice hasn’t helped with that. I wish it would. I’d love to fly around the room again.
Mommy tells me the superpower juice is working, but I heard her and Daddy talking the other day. She said I’m getting weaker instead of stronger and that they might have to give me more superpower juice. I don’t want to take more. Superpower juice may be good for you, but it doesn’t feel good taking it. My arms are black and blue. I asked Mommy why I couldn’t drink it and she said it doesn’t work that way. It only makes you stronger if it goes right into your veins. I’m not sure what veins are. I know it hurts when the superpower juice goes in them though. I guess I won’t have to take more now since it’s been canceled.
Canceled means no more. They canceled my favorite TV show last week.
“Let’s go play, baby.”
“Are you sure, Daddy? You don’t have to play if you’re sad.”
“I’m sure, Maise. There’s nothing more important than spending every minute with you. I’m sorry about earlier.”
“It’s okay, Daddy. We have all the time in the world.”
Daddy always tells Mommy that and it makes her smile. I wonder why it made Daddy cry again…