The Smallest Things

Submitted for Contest #3 in response to: Write a story about a parent putting their child to bed.... view prompt

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Aug 23, 2019

General

"Have you finished your food, Olly?" Mom asked.

"No." She blinked, then sighed slightly, having forgotten.

"Are you full, Olly?" She rephrased.

"Yes." Wide eyes looked at her, simply observing. She smiled.

"Then we'll put your food in a container for tomorrow, okay?"

"Okay." Mom grabbed a container and the 5-year-old helped pour his leftover spaghetti and green beans into it.

"Go brush your teeth, Olly," she said, gently pushing him towards the bathroom as she turned to put the container in the fridge. She hummed to herself as she started the warm soapy water to finish dinner dishes. She grabbed the last dishes from the dinner table and stifled a gasp.

"What are you doing, Olly?" The boy looked up from his soapy hands and soaked sleeves with a blank look, then turned and dipped his hands back into the warm water. She watched as the 5-year-old scrubbed a plate, fumbling slightly with his small hands, and held the plate up for her. Mom felt a tender smile grace her face as she looked at it.

"Very good, Olly!" She praised. " Put it in the other sink, and I'll rinse it for you." She stacked the last dirty dish next to him and continued humming as she rinsed and dried. A small splash had her looking down then gently rubbing the child's back in comfort.

"That's okay, Olly," she soothed, pulling the chipped plate from the soapy water and making sure there was no more glass in the water. "I've done that a few times too." A small smile hid his watery eyes and she kissed his forehead.

"Let's get you into dry pajamas, okay?" He nodded and walked in the direction of the bedroom as she put the last dish away, placing the cracked one to the side to fix later. She walked into the small room just as he finished putting on his shirt.

"Are you ready for bed, Olly?"

"Yes." She smiled as he climbed into the small bed, grabbed her own pajamas and changed in the bathroom. She rinsed her mouth, ignoring the aftertaste of the toothpaste, and walked back to the room. She straightened the blanket over the boy, kissed him on the forehead again, and brushed his brown hair back.

"I love you, Olly." She got up with a quiet sigh, and turned to the living room, ready for another all-nighter in front of the tiny computer.

"Mommy." She turned, blinking at the child sitting up, wide and knowing eyes watching her. She smiled sadly and walked back, hugging him.

"I have to work, Olly," she murmured, running her fingers through his hair.

"No." She sighed, thinking of the tall amounts of work on that small device. She had to work, she had to make the money for this child in her arms.

"I know you dont want me to, Olly, but I need to."

"No." She blinked as his tiny fingers reached up, lightly touching the heavy bags under her eyes. "Sleep."

"Olly," she began, but he leaned his small head against her chest.

"Sleep tonight. Work to-morrow," he mumbled, stammering slightly on the word, and she sighed.

" I suppose one night won't hurt anything," she murmured, laying next to her tiny Angel and snuggling him closer to her chest.

"Need sl'p," he mumbled sleepily. She felt tears burn in the back of her tired eyes as she smiled, her chest burning in her love for him.

"I love you, my son."

"I love you, too, mommy."

How could Mom ever live without her Angel?

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