Cinder: Mom? You really, really love us, right?
Jane: More than anything in the world.
Cinder: More than anything?
Jane: Anything. You are my everything. I love you so much–so, so, so much…
Cinder: So… like… you love us more than your Kobo, right?
[Interlude for American readers: it’s like a Kindle. But Canadian. Except now owned by the Japanese. E-reader. I love my Kobo. The ability to transport effectively an entire library with me in my purse is earth-shatteringly amazing. It’s still a fairly fresh addition to my life and it goes with me everywhere. To the bathroom. To the kitchen. To the playground. Oh, god. That’s it, isn’t it? I’m reading everywhere. I’m ignoring my children. I’m emotionally scarring them…]
Jane: Oh, sweetness. Of course I love you more than my Kobo. Have I been reading it too much? Do you want me to go do something with you? We can have a water gun right, or we can watch iCarly together or…”
Cinder: No, no–but… I just need to establish: you love us more than the Kobo, right?
Jane: Of course.
Cinder: So… like… if something bad happened to your Kobo, you’d still love us, right?
The Kobo’s fine. There’s a crack in the screen, but whatever, it still works. It’s a bit of a mystery of how the crack got there. It might have been when Ender chucked it off the landing and it struck the metal thread on the stairs. Or when Cinder wrested it out of his hands and whacked it against the doorknob in the process. Or when Flora took it away from him and put it “someplace safe” … and then forgot it was under all those books when she used them to reach for the trapeze bar. Or… anyway. It doesn’t matter. I interrupt the attempt to assign blame or figure out how the screen got cracked. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a thing, and they came to me as soon as they saw it was damaged. Introduced the subject rather artfully–I give Cinder a speculative look. God, I love the little buggers, but sometimes, I think it might be easier having dumb children. I kiss him. Hug Flora. Ender’s oblivious, wrecking destruction on something else.
Jane: I love you more than anything, anything, anything, including the Kobo.
Cinder: I know.
Cinder: But are you pissed about the crack?
Jane: Pissed is a strong word.
Cinder: Well. At least it matches your Mac Book now.
For one of the Mac Book stories, see Why they don’t ask for permission.