I opened the bathroom door and yelled, “Hey, can someone bring me socks?” I was grumpy. It had been a long night. I was woken up several times by Lydia sleepwalking and crying in the basement, and then Gideon screaming uncontrollably in his bed. Now, I was late for work (as usual) and was struggling to find clothes to wear so I could get out the door.
“I need socks!” I called again, scowling at myself in the mirror while I brushed my hair.
A small voice in the living room replied, “Hucks?!” It was Gideon. I sighed. Great… Little Mr.Helpful was the only person in ear shot and he was the last person I wanted to have help me find a pair of matching socks.
“Gideon,” I yelled up the stairs, “I need socks. Tell Mom; Dad needs socks.”
I heard as he began scurrying around the room, dropping whatever he had been looking at off his lap as he slid from the couch and ran in busy circles.
“No…” I went back to trying to make my hair lie down. “Gideon. Come on. I need socks!”
“Need hucks!” He repeated dutifully. I heard the thump thump thump as he started down the stairs towards the bathroom. Great. I was never going to get socks. Even my homing pigeon was broken.
The little boy pushed open the door and smiled up at me. His light brown hair was a matted unmowed lawn above the face of a smiling cartoon sunshine. “Huck?” he asked.
“Yes. I need some hucks.”
He nodded, and then made a few more steps towards me and wrapped his arms around my legs. I suddenly realized what he had been hearing. I now knew what hucks were. I sighed, and knelt down and wrapped my arms around his shoulders.
More calmly now I said to him, “Gideon, thanks for the huck. You’re right. That was what I needed. Now, could you go tell mom that I need some socks?” I pointed at my bare feet and wiggled my toes.
He smiled, nodded his head, and charged back up the stairs.
Later, after brushing my teeth, Clara appeared in the doorway and rubbed her eyes.
“Hi, Clara,” I said. Then I stepped backwards and looked at her. “Hey, I need something.” I held my hands out to my sides, “Can you figure out what Daddy still needs this morning?” I wiggled my toes.
She yawned and looked me up and down. “Oh.” she said finally, and smiled. Then she took two steps forward and gave me a big hug around the waist.
My arms were still held out to my sides. I took a deep breath, looked up at the ceiling, and patted a hand on her back.
“Thank you,” I told her.
Finally, I walked up the stairs to my bedroom and found my socks on my own.