By the time my son was toddling around, I realized he had only seen Lori a handful of times. She would say things such as, "I need to come see your son before he's all grown up," but when I tried to make that happen, she usually claimed she wasn't available. She rarely accepted my offer to come over for dinner or a visit. Instead, she would say, "Why don't you come here instead," which I took as a code for "come to my quiet, childfree home."
Sometimes when I get an idea for a story I do this thing called clustering. I write down my main topic in the center of a yellow legal pad and go from there. Today's word is CRACK.
I grabbed my kids, my python, and my frog, and I moved to my very own apartment by the beach, where the kids would always wear plenty of sunscreen. I stayed far away from animal shelters. No one should intentionally breed with an addict, and it's probably a good idea not to marry one either. Sometimes you just can't take care of everyone, you know? Sometimes, no matter how noble your intentions, you can't help. Sometimes you need to take care of the babies you already have and realize that you can't handle any more. Sometimes you just need to take care of yourself.