Vinnie’s mom sits perfectly still in a Lotus position on her yoga mat. The yoga master’s hypnotic voice streaming from FitTV puts Vinnie’s mom in a highly relaxed state. Suddenly, she’s startled. Her heart rate jumps from 47 to 110 in seconds. She swings her head toward the front door.
“Mom, Mom, Mom, I’m home. I’m home. I’m home,” screams Vinnie.
Dexter comes racing in from Vinnie’s bedroom, barking as if he won the dog lottery and has free barbecue for life. Dexter slides to a stop on the tile floor sticking a perfect landing at Vinnie’s feet.
Vinnie’s mom is on her feet, “Vinnie, why are you home early? You’re not supposed to home for 15 more minutes. I always prepare a snack for you and wait for you. Did anything go wrong at school?” Vinnie’s mom has the irrational thought the principal sent Vinnie home from school and forgot to call her.
“I got kicked out of school, Mom.”
“You didn’t! My God, Vincent, what did you do?” says Vinnie’s Mom.
“Punked yah, Mom. You are too easy,” says Vinnie stooping down and hugging Dexter.
“Don’t scare me like that ever again, Vinnie. Promise? Why are you home early?” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Mrs. Johnson was sick and couldn’t drive the bus. The sub bus driver drove us home backward,” says Vinnie opening his backpack and sticking his arm into it.
Dexter, unlike Vinnie, lives in the present moment and focuses with laser like attention on any possibility of food.
Vinnie pulls out a half of bologna sandwich and holds it above Dexter’s head. Dexter knows the drill. He sits on his haunches, stares at Vinnie, and waits for a command.
Vinnie says, “Sit.” Vinnie starts laughing and looks at his mom. “I punked Dexter. He’s already sitting.”
Dexter’s confused. He’s never gone into a sit position from a sitting position. His feeble beagle brain feels as if it will explode. Dexter thinks Vinnie’s confused. Dexter helps Vinnie out by sticking out his left paw.
Vinnie doubles up in laughter. He gives Dexter the half sandwich. Dexter doesn’t understand what he did, but he’ll try to remember it. He consumes the bologna sandwich in three point eight seconds.
“Vincent, the driver did not drive backward, now why are you home early?” asks Vinnie’s mom. She feels as confused as Dexter.
“I mean the bus driver drove the bus backward, Mom. He let the first kids off who are usually the last kids off. Mulberry Street is usually the last stop. That’s why I’m home early.”
“Oh, I understand, I think. Where did you get that disgusting, unhealthy sandwich? I hope you didn’t eat it the other half,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Larry gave it to me, Mom. His mom makes him two sandwiches. Larry only could eat one. He gave one half sandwich to Joey and the other half to me. I took my half home for Dexter. That was smart, right, Mom?”
“I’m sure Dexter appreciated it. Tell me all about school. Did you get to talk about your science project?” says Vinnie’s mom as she rolled up her yoga mat.
“Later, Mom. I got to see Rupert. He knows I’m home,” says Vinnie stepping past his mom and heading toward his bedroom.
“Vincent, did you forget something?”
Vinnie stops, turns around and looks at his mom, “Nope. I got my backpack. Thanks for asking, Mom.”
“Vincent, you know what I’m talking about. Come here, now,” orders Vinnie’s mom.
“Do I have to, Mom? If Joey and Larry knew I had to hug you every day when I come home from school they’d give me the business all year.”
“I want a hug.”
“Okay, but no kiss.”
Vinnie’s mom stoops down and holds out her arms to catch Vinnie. He runs to her and jumps into them. She kisses him on the top of his head.
He looks at her, “Thanks, Mom.”
Vinnie’s mom holds Vinnie at arms length, “Vinnie, after you put your backpack up, I’ll have a snack ready for you at the table. I want to hear what you told the class about your science project.”
“You sure, Mom? It will be boring,” says Vinnie trying to escape his mom’s grasp.
“I’m sure, now run along.”