Sound byte

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is playing on the Comcast “Sounds of the Season” station. The kids are eating lunch at the bar, talking with their mouths full and I’m pretending not to notice. They’re discussing their Nana’s plans to take them to Toys-R-Us so they can show her what they’d like for Christmas.

“Is an Air Hog going to be on your list?” asked Zachary.

“I knew you were going to say Air Hog!” laughed Eli.

“I’ll give you a bite of my noodles if you give me a bite of your sandwich.”

“Nah, I don’t want any of yours,” said Eli.

Silence. Chewing sounds. Burl Ives is singing “Holly Jolly Christmas.” Eli falls off the barstool on purpose and both boys are guffawing. Now Zachary is pouring a little eggnog for their dessert.

“Eli, go sit at the bar. I’ll be a bartender…. (pause). Would you like some eggnog, sir?”

“Yes, please!”

They sit side by side like little men, sipping their eggnog from coffee cups, giggling over eggnog mustaches and delaying the inevitable return to their schoolwork.