Toys were scattered across the living room. A rubber duck with sunglasses was beak down attempting to dive under the carpeted sea. Another duck was spotted on the cover of a plastic ABC book which squeaked. And close by, another book sat loudly with bold colors yet, withheld its boisterous songs.
Under the coffee table, a lonely orange race car with a checkered top crashed over on its side.
A small orange basketball lost its bounce. And other oddly textured balls, brown and blue, lied motionless.
There’s another odd toy, shaped like peanuts in a shell, with a face that traveled alone and wound up upside-down.
Pink sequined slippers were separated in an abandoned stride. And an iPad was plugged into the wall hidden behind a woven toy basket.
There was an abundance of evidence – children lived here.
Who knew what lied down the hallway, in bathrooms, bedrooms or closets.
The treasures collected along the way said, Remember me. Remember me when…
I followed Abe’s cry and found him on his knees with his butt sticking out of the bottom of the bookshelf. The top half of his body was shoved inside.
I laughed, surprised at his predicament, and watched as he tried to free himself by repeatedly lifting up and hitting his head on the shelf above him. Little did he know, all he needed to do was back-up like a mini dump truck – beep, beep, beep.
When I pulled him out, we laughed, and Abe smiled without a trace of tears.
The grin spread across Abe’s face revealed two baby chicklet teeth. He panted and snorted as he crawled toward me like a pig headed to the trough.
I am his trough, I thought. I am his source of nourishment, a provider of food, shelter and warmth.
When Abe crawled toward me, he crawled home.