The In-Between Times

(Charlie has given Chloe a flat, on purpose, during a family stroll throughout the Berkeley campus. There’s some loud bickering and passers-by are glancing our way to see what all the commotion is about.)

Max: This family! Couldn’t we just walk along in peace?

Cassie: You used to do all that stuff, like Charlie, when you were that age.

Max: Hmmm. How much longer are we¬†walking? I really could use a bathroom. The pizza we just ate sucked. What kind of place lets the tomato seeds get into the sauce like that? Can we go to Ben & Jerry’s before we head home? I need a shake, like immediately.

Scott: He speaks. A lot of words coming outta your mouth.

Max: It’s my desperate plea on this…this family outing.

Scott: It’s Mother’s Day. It’s good to be together as a family.

Cassie: That’s right. And I want to take some pictures.

Max: (Quiet moaning.)

Scott: Poor Max. He’s still recovering from all that “Dad and Son Time” yesterday, when we went to Half Moon Bay.

Max: (smirking) A kid can only take so much. These two trips, back-to-back in one weekend, leave me totally racked.

Cassie: Racked?

Max: Cashed out.

Scott: (giggling) Tapped out. Wrecked.

Cassie: Oh. You’re that exhausted from being with your family members?

Max: Totally. (Pause. Then, muttering with a sigh.) I’m not going to have kids for a very, very long time. Maybe never.

Cassie: But, I’ll want to be a grandmother…. someday.

Scott: Yea. But not for a long time. Take all the time you need on that, Bub. Good thinking.

Max: I know.

(Another fight with some shoving and then, suddenly, loud whining from the four-year-old, whom we’ve been taking turns pushing up hills in the stroller as we make our way throughout the campus. Genevieve’s Barbie doll has dropped somewhere on the path behind us. We all stop, circle back and look for the Barbie so we can make the whining stop.)

Max: (handing the Barbie back to Genevieve, who is instantly quiet and becomes deeply engrossed in smoothing out Barbie’s skirts) It’s too much. Why can’t everyone just be quiet so you can even think. How can you think?

Cassie: In the in-between times. You take a breather and think during the in-between times….when there’s less noise.

Max: I need much longer stretches of time…of total quiet.

Cassie: To gather your thoughts?

Scott: You mean sleep. That’s just sleep.

Max: Yea.

Cassie: To get off the rack? To re-stack your cash?

Max: Pffft.

Scott: Well, Father’s Day is coming up. You have a month. I’ll totally be expecting a day that focuses on me. Start re-stacking.

Max: There’ll be another family outing?

Scott: Of course.

Max: (More moaning and sighing.)

Cassie: A month is a lot of in-between time.

Scott: Yea. It really is.

Cassie: Pffft. Can we go get the shake now?