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He scanned through the page one last time looking for any mistakes or incorrectly checked boxes. Everything looked correct, or as correct as it could be. As soon as he hit “Submit,” he exhaled deeply and leaned back in his chair.
“Well Grant, we’re all done applying to Great Hills Academy. Isn’t that great?” He didn’t care if Grant thought it was great; he’d just spent half an hour filling out the application. It took longer than any of his college apps so being done was definitely great.
Grant poked his head up from the couch on which he was sitting and replied, “Huh?” before immediately back around and focusing back in on Moana.
“Yep, all we’ve gotta do is go visit and see what we think, and hang out there for an interview or something. Should be fun right?”
Without reappearing from his spot on the couch, Grant said, “Can we get ice cream after we go?”
Kid, if you ace that interview I’ll buy you a fucking Dairy Queen.
“Sure, ice cream sounds good. Okay, time to turn off Moana for a bit, you’ve watched it like 47 times in the last week.
Ignoring Grant’s complaints about not being able to hear The Rock sing “You’re Welcome” for what seemed like the millionth time, he flipped the TV to MLB Network, which sent Grant walking over to his Hot Wheels track and his father back to his laptop.
Sitting back down, his ears perked up when he heard the host of whatever morning show was on say, “We’d like to wish all the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day.”
Grant picked his head up from his track. “Mother’s Day?”
Other than the occasional “Hi From Sri Lanka” postcard, they hadn’t heard from Grant’s mother much. This was the first year that he’d even registered that Mother’s Day was a thing. Thankfully, Grant’s grandmother had been able to come to the “Muffins & Moms” event at his school, but this weekend she was out of town on a 30th anniversary vacation.
Looking to change the subject quickly he replied, “Uh yeah buddy, Mother’s Day, remember you had muffins with Grandma and made her that nice card?” The card was a piece of folded turquoise construction paper with some indiscernible crayon scribbled on it; it was an artistic catastrophe. He continued, “So how about we have a fun day? Maybe go pick up some food we need at HEB and then go to the playground?”
Grant nodded enthusiastically then ran off saying he was going to find his shoes, failing to notice that they’d been a foot from him on the floor.
An uneasiness and feeling of guilt seemed to be something that he’d be going through on Mother’s Day for the foreseeable future. It often saddened him that Grant didn’t have that relationship in his life; having a day that was the celebration of the peak of that relationship probably wasn’t going to be very comfortable. He imagined that he felt the same thing Browns fans felt every year during the Super Bowl.
A mother wasn’t something he could give Grant at the snap of his fingers. He was still single as fuck and lacked the finances to purchase a wife from Russia. But, he could make sure Mother’s Day wasn’t a downer for him, especially without even his grandma around to celebrate with. Avoid all mentions and just have a fun day. Easy enough.
The automatic doors slid open, blasting he and Grant with the normal rush of chilled air and ushering them into the produce section. Truth be told, they didn’t need a whole lot. They’d made a big grocery run a few days prior. But, a good day almost always involved an HEB run.
Instead of taking a hard right over towards the section with bananas, blueberries, and strawberries, their attention was naturally drawn straight ahead to the floral department. The various stands that normally carried a few bouquets currently looked as though the Rose Bowl Parade had come through and started throwing shit everywhere.
The various bouquets, vases, and large assortments were surrounded by panicked looking dads, all sweating profusely and wearing the expression of “Holy shit how did I forget Mother’s Day for the fourth year in a row — Christ, I can’t believe my wife hasn’t left me by now” perfectly.
Godspeed, you dumb bastards, I’d go with one of the vases.
Grant, however, looked at the display with wonder. Hearing someone passing by say, “Mom will like these,” he looked at his father and said, “Wow, what pretty Mother’s Day flowers. I like Mother’s Day.” His father inwardly grimaced.
After dropping their groceries off at home, he decided to make the playground their next stop. Upon arriving he instantly realized this might’ve been a mistake in his long-term goal, as the number of mothers around and playing with their kids were even more than usual. In fact, there was only one dad at the entire playground. As Grant ran off, he sat a couple yards away from the other dad, who’d just finished sorting out what seemed to be a spirited disagreement between his four daughters.
The dad looked at him. “So your wife wanted a day to herself too, huh?”
He awkwardly smiled back and proceeded to watch Grant play tag with a group of kids and a few of their mothers.
Grant’s pupils dilated with lust as his father filled up his cup of froyo with chocolate-vanilla swirl. He’d requested they visit “the ice cream store” after the playground, and his father felt that was another great plan to make it a great day. He filled himself a small cup of vanilla, and Grant asked, “Why are you only getting vanilla, Daddy?”
Because I’m a boring human, Grant.
“Oh that’s just my favorite flavor,” he said, motioning for his child to put his cup on the scale so they could pay.
Pulling out his card, he stopped when the teenager behind the counter said, “Toppings are free for Mother’s Day today if you guys want to add some stuff after you pay.”
He looked at her a little flabbergasted, but Grant then exclaimed, “WOW! Mother’s Day is great! Can we get chocolate chips?!?”
Without waiting for an answer he went over to the dispenser and came back with what looked like a half pound of chocolate chips resting on his froyo. Father and son sat down to eat at a table next to the window. Grant inhaled his froyo in complete euphoria while his father ate and looked at the moms and children walking down the street outside.
They returned home late, close to sunset. After reheating the previous night’s leftover pizza, the pair headed upstairs to give Grant a quick shower and begin their bedtime routine. Books, take a leak, brush teeth, one more book, and bed. After a full day, Grant was tired but cheery, while his father was slightly down.
He laid Grant down in his bed and pulled his favorite blanket to cover him up. Grant looked at him. “Happy Mother’s Day, Daddy, I love you.”
“I love you too, Grant.” He walked out of the room wearing one of his first smiles of the day, barely even reacting when he stepped on a stray LEGO on the floor. .
If you’re enjoying following “PostGrad Single Dad,” be sure to go listen to the latest episode of “The DadGum Podcast” with Ross Bolen, live on Grandex Labs.