I kept the kid home from school today. She told me last night that she wasn’t feeling well, and then again this morning. She’s been tired and emotional lately. I thought it was going to be a snow day, so I had anticipated having her home.

But partly I kept her home because I wanted her to be here.

She’s seven now. Seven. I can’t quite understand how the years have stacked up like that, but here we are. She’s seven and my grandfather is still 90 years older than she is, and he’s dying.

He’s dying mostly just because he’s 96, turning 97 in July, but also because his health is failing him. Because he’s 97. He’s 97 and he’s dying and the last two times I’ve tried to go and see him we haven’t been allowed to, so I haven’t actually seen or spoken to him since before Christmas. And I don’t remember what we talked about and I don’t know if I’ll see him again.

And then there’s my dog.

My puppy, who we brought home with us 11 years ago. He picked us and he came home right before Christmas and the two of us are bonded. Hardcore. No two better nap buddies will ever be found.

And now he’s 11, and the last dog my family owned lived to be 11, and Henry has a heart murmur and a paralyzed back leg and even though he acts like a puppy, as much as always, I’m scared to think that someday too soon I won’t have a Henry any more, and there will never be another like him.

And if she’s already seven, then the years are going by too fast, and his time is so short.

So today I kept my kid home from school. Partly because she wasn’t feeling well, and partly because I want to keep my close ones closer. Because there just isn’t enough time.

He thinks she’s nuts

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