#37 I, Isabel Scheherazade, explain how Olivia comes to our house every day after school and how she’s a latchkey kid. (I’m beginning to think I’M the lucky one in the nice family category, at least when I compare what’s left of my family with what Olivia’s still got.)
Clyde, Sam, Olivia, and I are in the breakfast nook talking to Mimi while she gets out the after-school snacks.
“Snack” isn’t really the right word for what Mimi serves, though. Today it’s brownies–“healthy” brownies she makes from whole-wheat flour, flax seed, applesauce, egg whites, dark chocolate, and this crystally raw sugar topping.* I didn’t realize brownies could come from anything other than ready-made mixes–the red box with the old-fashioned cook in the corner? Dad made brownies on Friday nights. He’d say, Now these aren’t as good as your Mimi’s. He’s right: Mimi’s are The Best.
It’s a routine now for Olivia to come home with me after school. Sometimes she stays for supper. Her parents don’t come home ’til evening.
It’s not a formal arrangement. I mean, Olivia’s mother didn’t call and ask if we would keep her until they got home. They’d never do something like that, Olivia tells Mimi and Pop. It’s just not in their heads to think about it.
(Mimi and Pop disapprove. Disapprove of the parents, that is. But they have no problem having Olivia come to our house after school. You’re welcome here anytime, Olivia, Mimi says with a hug. Anytime.)
It’s okay, Olivia reassures her. Really. She fishes around for something hanging from a silver chain around her neck. I’ve got a key. See? She pulls a house key out of her shirt and flashes it around. It works out. According to the Urban Dictionary, I’m a “Latchkey Kid.” My social worker says the average time latchkeys stay home alone after school is two to three hours.
What’s-a-latchkey-what’s-a-latchkey?? The twins ask. (But I know Mimi and I are thinking, Why do you have a social worker?)
Olivia looka uncomfortable with the attention, so I ask Mimi’s advice on our first grade buddy kid.
PS I’ll finish this blog entry after Pop reads Stone Fox. We’ve decided we have to hear the end of the story tonight even though this’ll mean the twins will stay up later than usual. ( I don’t know HOW I missed this book when I was a kid.)
* Look for Mimi’s recipe for these delish brownies in the comment section. She’s writing it out in neater handwriting. I don’t know if it’s possible for her to write so anyone but Pop can read her writing, but we’ll see. 🙂