Tonight after work I picked Maddy up at her Grammy’s. Mommy Megan was attending a wake for yet another young victim of heroin. Like too many others, there won’t be a tomorrow for him.

My little grand-daughter was happy to see me, but sad to leave her “Ky-Ky.” She doesn’t quite get the Kyle splitting time at Grammy and Papi’s… So with it just the two of us, two words ruled: ice cream. “Wanna get an ice cream, baby?” She smiled and wiggled affirmatively in her car seat. After a while we were trading, “Who wants an ice cream?” for “Meeeeeeeee!” Patiently, Maddy waited while we hit the bank and the dry cleaners before arriving at the Cherry Hill Ice Cream Barn. Even in a kiddy cone dish, “Extreme Chocolate” kicks serious ass, blending dark chocolate ice cream with equal dark dashes of fudge and chocolate chunks… Yeah. I really wasn’t falling off the fatty wagon, but in case I needed a reminder, the one piece picnic table literally sank underneath us and tipped over on us. We, and the Extreme Chocolate were unhurt…

After a “I don’t want to get back in my car seat” dispute won by me, we headed home for jammies and a dinner consisting of fresh salad and chicken sausage with multi colored peppers and pale Vidalia. As I cooked, Maddy visited often, leaving the comfort of her soft pink and fluffy bean bag chair and “Dora” to give me hugs and kisses… and to beg like a puppy with her mouth open for salad tomatoes. When I asked if she was ready for bed, she shook her blonde curls East to West, but curled up in my arms. I tried to reason with her about how she loves her bed and her blankie and the nice music (WCRB) softly filling a little corner of her room. She hugged me tight in what I incorrectly interpreted as agreement. I put her into her white crib and said softly, “no crying now. Papa wants Maddy to be happy, not sad.” She looked at me with her big blue eyes brimming with contentment. We had a nice couple hours and Madison Olivia had another fun day of breakfast with Papi, mommy time, school with her friends, and after-school with Grammy, Papa Scott and her Ky-Ky.

After about 10 kisses and another big hug, I said “I love you. Goodnight,” and left Maddy’s room, shutting the door behind me. Immediately, the sound of crazed prehistoric raptors ripped at the door… Strange, I thought. Why does she cry? My feeling in the moment was that she just doesn’t want the days to end. It was as if she were crying out, “Nooooo, Papi! I don’t want this day to end! I don’t want any of this to end!” Me neither, baby. Me neither.