As it started to get cool again, at the beginning of September, Mary ventured out to the grocery store with Dean on a Saturday afternoon, leaving Sam with John.
“I don’t want to ride in the cart,” Dean said when Mary tried to lift him up. “That is for babies. If you wanted to go shopping with a baby you shoulda brought Sammy.”
“Hold on to the side of the cart and don’t wander away then,” Mary replied.
“I will ride on the front,” Dean nodded as he climbed on. “And you will push me.”
“I’m gonna leave you at home next time if you don’t stop the attitude,” Mary said.
“No you won’t,” Dean smirked. “You love me too much, and I’m a very good helper at the grocery store.”
“Okay,” Mary smiled back as she pointed them toward the dairy isle. “Let’s get this done.”
Mary decided this was the absolute worst idea she had ever had before they got to the milk. Dean decided he would be a big helper and try to pick up a gallon of orange juice by himself, nearly causing a juice flood if Mary wasn’t quick on her feet. As they walked the store she was pulling stuff that they had never brought before out of the cart -- a can of black olives, corn bread mix, pepper relish, cans of cat food, bags of marshmallows-- and sticking it back on a random shelf.
“Dean,” Mary sighed, exhausted from the simple trip to the store. “Can you just stand on the end of the cart and not put random things we don’t need in it.”
“But we need this!” Dean explained holding up a package of muffins from the bakery.
“No, we don’t,” Mary said as patiently as she could. “I’ll make you blueberry muffins for breakfast if you want some.”
“Okay then,” Dean shrugged and waddled over the cart and hung on again.
“We only have to go through the vegetables and the meat and then we’re done,” Mary said as she started to push the cart again. “If you don’t touch anything else on the shelves before we get to the check out, I’ll buy you a candy bar.”
“Will you buy Sam a candy bar?” Dean asked seriously.
“No,” Mary answered. “I won’t buy Daddy one either. Just you.”
“So it’ll be really special,” Dean smiled.
“The specialest.” Mary agreed.
“I will try,” Dean said, letting a very determined expression cross his face. “I will try the best I can.”
Dean actually did very well not touching anything after that, he didn’t stay on the back of the cart like he was supposed to, but no new stuff ended up in the cart. As they made their way through the checkout, Mary let Dean sit on the bench at the front of store to keep him out of the way. He was a good helper, but there are things that are just easier to do without a four year old trying to do it too.
“Momma,” Dean said running up. “You’re never gonna believe it!”
“What is it?” Mary asked.
“There is a fire truck outside,” Dean said seriously.
“Yeah,” the checkout girl replied. “They’re collecting donations for a food drive. They’ve been out there for a while. Would you like to keep the candy bar out?”
“Yes please,” Mary nodded. “When we leave here, we’ll go look at the fire truck for a little bit. But we can’t stay too long because the ice cream will melt.”
“Okay,” Dean smiled. “Just one minute.”
Dean walked up to the two firefighters standing next to the truck as soon as Mary motioned that it was okay.
“Excuse me,” Dean said softly. “Are you a real fireman?”
“Yes sir,” the firefighter said kneeling down next to him. “I’m Lieutenant Powers, what’s your name?”
“Dean Winchester,” he replied. “Do you have a dalmatian?”
“We do not have a dalmatian at the firehouse,” Lieutenant Powers smiled.
“You should get one,” Dean nodded. “I know what to do if there is a fire my house, my daddy telled me.”
“What should you do?” Lieutenant Powers asked. “It’s very important to know that kind of stuff.”
“You don’t hide under the bed,” Dean explained. “Then the firemans can’t you. If the fire alarm goes off you go outside as fast as you can. But if you touch the door knob and it’s hot, you open the window and yell as loud as you can.”
“That’s exactly right, you’re are a very smart little boy.”
“I know,” Dean nodded. “But I got a question, acuz I got a little brother. He is only a baby. He doesn’t knowed how to walk or anything, so there is a fire at our house, how will Sam get out?”
“Well, Dean, have you and your dad talked about what to do if there was a fire since your brother was born?” Lieutenant Power asked.
“Nope,” Dean answered rocking back and forth on his feet. “Only before.”
“They what I think you should do, is when you get home, you should sit down with you mom and dad and make up an escape plan just in case. So that everyone knows what do, and you can make sure you know your little brother is safe.”
“It’s my job to make him safe,” Dean nodded. “That’s what big brother’s do. Do you think that maybe I can go in the firetruck?”
“Will that be okay with you mom?” Lieutenant Powers questioned.
Dean nodded uncertainly.
“I’d go ask her, kiddo,” the firefighter said standing back up. “If your mom says it’s okay, I’ll put you up in there.”
“That sounds like the best!” Dean exclaimed, eyes wide. “I’ll be right back.” He turned on his heel and ran toward this mother, still waiting by the back of the truck while Dean spoke with the firefighters. “That fireman said that if I asked you and you said yes, then I could go inside the firetruck.”
“Let me talk to the fireman,” Mary said, pushing the cart over. “I gotta load this stuff into the car before it melts.”
“Excuse me fireman!” Dean yelled. “My mom wants to ask you something.”
Lieutenant Powers turned to face Dean and Mary.
“Hi, sir,” Mary smiled. “Apparently, my son wants to sit in the firetruck. He said you’d let him if he had my permission.”
“That’s what I said ma’am,” Lieutenant Powers replied.
“I really have to put these groceries in the come the black Chevy monstrosity right next to the cart station. Would it be acceptable for you to watch for a few minutes while I load it up, then I’ll come back and get him out of your hair.”
“That’s fine by me,” Lieutenant Powers nodded. “We’ll let little Dean play in the truck until you get back. No problems ma’am.”
“I’m not little,” Dean pouted. “I’m a big boy.”
“Right,” Mary nodded. “Thank you, very much sir, I’ll be back in five minutes tops.”
“Come here Dean,” Lieutenant Powers said hold out his hand. “We’ll get you in there.”
He lifted Dean up and placed him inside the driver’s side.
“This is the coolest thing ever!” Dean exclaimed grabbing the steering wheel. “You get to drive this?”
“Sometimes yeah,” Lieutenant Powers nodded as he hung out of the side.
“One time, I got to drive my daddy’s car,” Dean rambled. “I got to sit on his lap and steer it. It was most fun. Driving a firetruck must be a lot cooler. Can I make the siren go off?”
“No,” Lieutenant Powers shook his head. “But you can turn the lights on.”
“Can I tell Daddy and Sammy that I turned on the sirens?”
“Absolutely,” Lieutenant Powers laughed. “You just gotta flip that switch right there and the lights will turn on.”
“This is so cool,” Dean smiled while he flipped the switch. “Sammy gonna be so jealous. I can’t wait to tell him. Do you think one day I can be a fireman?”
“I think so,” Lieutenant Powers replied. “When you get bigger, I think we can work something out.”
“When I’m a grown up?” Dean asked. “That’s gonna take forever, but I knowed that when I grow up I wanna be a fireman. You know why? Because they are like superheroes, but I knowed Superheroes are just pretend. I knowed that firemans are real superheroes. They save lots of people.”
“You gotta be very brave to be a fireman,” Lieutenant Powers said. “You think you got it?”
“I know I do,” Dean nodded. “One time, there was a monster under my bed, and I thinked it was gonna eat me and my mom, so I goed to my mom’s room with with sword to protect my mom. I’m very brave.”
“That’s pretty brave,” Lieutenant Powers agreed. “If you keep that up, I think that when you’re bigger you’ll be a great fireman.”
“You about ready?” Mary asked walking up. “Thank you very much sir, I know he can be a little bit of handful.”
“No problem ma’am,” Lieutenant Powers said. “You gotta good kid there.”
“Thank you,” Dean smiled reaching out toward his mom and falling into her arms.
“You keep being brave, Dean,” Lieutenant Powers smiled. “And I’ll see you real soon.”
“I will,” Dean nodded.
“Thank you again,” Mary smiled. “I’m sure you made his whole day.” Then turned and started to walk away.
“I got to turn on the lights!” Dean exclaimed. “And I got to sit in the big chair and the fireman said that I can be fireman when I’m big like Daddy!”
“That sounds really cool Dean,” Mary nodded popped the back door of the car open. “I bet you’d be really good at it. You’re really brave like the firefighters have to be.” She buckled him into his seat and walked around to her side.
“Momma when can I sit in the front?”
“When you can touch the floor with you feet,” Mary answered. “Not one minute before.”
“Okay,” Dean agreed kicking his feet back and forth. “Someday.”
When they got home, Dean was sound asleep, face pressed against the door. Mary took those quiet moments to get the bags in the house for John to put away, an agreement they’d had as long as they’d lived together.
“You leave Dean at the store?” John joked.
“I’m sure he would have stayed if I let him,” Mary answered. “There were firefighters outside collecting for a food drive. They let him sit in the truck and everything. He’ll probably talk about it for the next… rest of our lives. He wants to re-do the plan you made incase of a fire. You haven’t gone over it with him since Sam was born, and now he is very concerned about it.”
“Our kid’s a freak,” John chuckled.
“Yeah,” Mary shrugged. “When his best friend’s dad’s a firefighter he’s gonna learn all about that kind of stuff. I think it’s cute that he’s trying to keep us safe.”
“It is,” John agreed. “I don’t think Jamie or Brandon are that gungho about fire safety.”
“Dean doesn’t live with it everyday like they do,” Mary shrugged. “That also probably have their fire preparedness plan ready and posted in every room. It’s honestly better to have the plan than not to have one. You never know. Old house, iffy wiring, someone never remembers to empty the lint trap in the dryer.”
“I’ll go get him before he wakes up,” John smiled before kissing Mary on the forehead. “And at least I’m not flooding the basement anymore.”
“I’d rather have a flood than a fire,” Mary called after him.
“Come on, buddy,” John urged softly as he unbuckled Dean from his booster seat. “You’re home now.”
Dean grabbed onto his Dad’s neck and let him take the boy from the car.
“I meeted a fireman,” Dean mumbled. “There was no dalmatian. I was sad about it.”
“Not all firehouses have dalmatians, I told you that,” John said as they walked toward the house.
“I wanted to meet a dalmatian,” Dean replied. “Maybe someday.”
“Maybe,” John said as they crossed the threshold into the house. “Did you have fun time out with mom besides that?”
“Oh yeah,” Dean nodded. “I got a candy bar. I forgetted because of the fireman, but now I remember.”
“Must have been really exciting if you forgot about candy,” John laughed, dropping Dean down onto the sofa.
“Firemans, Daddy,” Dean said wide eyed. “Firemans. I got to turn the lights on. It was magical.”
John laughed. “Yeah that sounds real cool big guy. How about you take the rest of your nap. I’ll be waiting for you when you wake up. Mom says you want to make a new fire escape plan.”
“Mmhmm,” Dean nodded sleepily. “We have to get Sammy out too. Can’t forgetted him.”
“No one’s gonna forget Sammy in an emergency,” John said. “I promise. But I’ll sit with you and write up a new plan after dinner.”
“Thank you,” Dean yawned before rolling over and falling back to sleep.
Dean sat next to John at the kitchen table with his crayons after they’d cleaned up from dinner with matching looks of concentration on their faces.
“So the fire alarm goes off,” John started. “What do you do?”
“I get up and go to the door,” Dean answered. “I touch the door knob to see if it’s hot. It’s not hot then then I go out in the hallway and go downstairs and outside. If it’s hot, I go to the window and push on it until it opens and yell really loud for someone to help.”
“Very good,” John nodded.
“But what about Sammy?” Dean said seriously. “He’s too little to get out of bed by himself. Should I go get him? What about you and Momma, should I wake you up?”
“If there is a fire,” John said looking right into his son’s eye. “You get out as fast as you can. You let me worry about getting Sammy out.”
“You and Momma telled all the time to watch out for him,” Dean replied. “To make sure he doesn’t eat not food and that he doesn’t hit his head on the coffee table, and all sorts of stuff. It’s my job as a big brother to make sure he’s okay. That’s what you telled me.”
“I know,” John nodded. “But if there is an emergency like that, you just get out of the house as fast as you can.”
“Okay,” Dean nodded. “There has to be two ways out. So we go out the front door, but if the fire is in the way, we got out the back door and into the back yard.”
“And you meet us at the mailbox,” John said. “You just get out of the house and go to the mailbox.”
“So you’ll get Sam,” Dean said slowly. “I can get him. I have foot stool so I can get him out.”
“I promise that if anything happens, I will get Sammy and your Mom out,” John said. “I know you’re really concerned about all this fire stuff, but I’m the dad; I’ll keep everyone safe.”
“Okay, Daddy,” Dean smiled. “I believe you. I want to make sure Sammy doesn’t get left behind.”
“I won’t forget Sam,” John promised. “No one is ever gonna forget Sam. Just like it’s impossible to forget about you.”
“I’m unforgettable,” Dean nodded. “Nana told me.”
“Why don’t you go upstairs and get ready for a bath?” John suggested. “We’ll get you ready for bed and I’ll read you a story?”
“We read more Winnie the Pooh?” Dean asked wide eyed. “I like that one.”
“I think that’s a good idea,” John smiled. “Head upstairs I’ll be there in a couple minutes.”
“Okay Daddy!” Dean said hopping off his chair and running upstairs.
Mary came around the corner moments later after getting Sam to sleep. “Everything go okay?” She asked.
“Yeah,” John nodded. “We have a new emergency escape plan. Dean will not try to get Sam out incase of a fire.”
“Good,” Mary smile sliding into John’s lap. “Now we just have to hope that we never have to worry about putting that plan into action. Meaning, when you switch the laundry, clean the lint trap.”
“I’ll try,” John smirked.
“Do or do not,” Mary chuckled in her best Yoda voice. “There is no try.”
“Shut up,” John rolled his eyes. “That’s a great movie.”
“Nerd,” Mary smiled.
“Get up, I have to bathe Dean,” John said before kissing her on the side of the head.
“Wanna watch a real movie after he falls asleep?” Mary asked, standing.
“Normal adult things?” John joked. “How novel.”
“I’ll pop some popcorn, open a bottle of wine,” Mary said. “Call me up to say goodnight.”
“I’m reading Winnie the Pooh,” John told her as he started up the stairs. “It could be a while. I call you up after we finish the story. I’m only reading one tonight. Don’t fall asleep on me this time.”
“I’ll be here waiting.”
In the morning, after breakfast, Dean sat on the floor with Sam. Mary had him leaning up against the sofa.
“This is how you spell your name,” Dean said taking some of Sam’s blocks and spelling out “SAME” on the floor in front of him. “Sammy.”
Sam reached down, grabbed the “E” and started to try to eat it.
“No, Sam!” Dean sighed. “How am I supposed to learn you if you eat all the blocks?”
“What are you doing kiddo?” Mary asked looking up from her book.
“I’m trying to teach Sam his name but he eats the E,” Dean explained.
“There’s E in Sam,” Mary said confused.
“Yeah,” Dean nodded. “Sammy!”
“No sweetheart,” Mary chuckled, sliding down from the sofa to sit next to Sam. “I’ll show you.” She lined to blocks up to spell “Sammy.” “See it has a Y at the end. Maybe you’re little brother is just really smart and that’s why he kept eating the E.”
“He’s not smarter than me,” Dean protested. “He’s a baby. He can’t even talk. He tried to eat a dirty sock on the floor.”
“Oh, Deano,” Mary smiled pulling him close. “That’s not what I meant at all.” She kissed him on the top of the head. “What else do you want to learn Sam today.”
“I learned him where his nose it,” Dean explained. “But I need Goldfish. I say ‘Sammy where is your nose?’”
The pair looked over at Sam who was banging two blocks together, so Dean repeated himself.
Sam looked over at them.
“Your nose Sammy,” Dean said seriously. “Show Momma where your nose is.” Dean pointed to his on his face while staring at his brother.
Sam blinked, then pressed his palm to his face.
“Good job Sammy!” Dean exclaimed. “See I learned him a thing! Now you have to give him a Goldfish cracker. That’s how I teach him.”
“Very cool, Deano,” Mary smiled. “I’ll get him one later.”
“Do you think Sammy is big enough to go outside now?” Dean asked. “I think I wanna play outside for a while. Maybe I can push Sammy on the baby swing.”
“I have some grown up stuff I gotta do,” Mary said. “But I think that I can set it up so we can have Sammy in his little walker on the deck and I can watch you outside. Let me get the baby gate.”
Dean nodded and watched his mom stand up and leave the room.
“You’re really gonna like playing outside Sammy,” Dean said to his brother as he crawled closer to him. “It’s like playing inside, but there fresh air and more room and it’s funner. You will really like it. I can’t wait til you're big enough to run around with me. I’m getting a little tired of this baby things. But you’re a lot bigger than you were. So waiting isn’t too bad.”
“Right around when he turns one he’ll be walking,” Mary said coming back into the room with the baby gate. “So next summer you two can play at the park and run around the backyard together.” She then disappeared into the kitchen to put the gate across the stairs on the deck.
“This is taking forever,” Dean sighed loudly. “Maybe we can water Sam and he’ll grow like a tree.”
“Do not do that,” Mary said coming back into the living room pushing Sam’s walker. “Don’t pour water on your brother.”
“I’m just trying to help.”
“I know,” Mary nodded. “Can you push this outside and I’ll carry Sam?”
“Yep!” Dean jumped up and took the walker from his mom and pushed it across the kitchen and out the door.
“Wait for me to move the gate,” Mary called. “Then you can run around the yard, or you can get some inside toys and bring them out here. Keep Sam occupied while I finish up doing the bills. Then all three of us can go down.”
“I can get over the gate just fine, I do it all the time,” Dean yelled back.
“Don’t you dare do that! You’ll break your neck,” Mary said seriously.
“Fine,” Dean shrugged leaning against the deck until Mary came out and got Sam situated.
“Don’t ever jump over the gate,” Mary said kneeling down to look him in the eye. “I use it to keep you and Sammy from falling down the stairs. Don’t jump over it, you could fall down the steps and get hurt really bad.”
“I didn’t get hurted yet,” Dean replied.
“Dean Michael, you do what I say?” Mary said. “If I catch trying to jump over that gate, you will be in time out until you get married.”
“That’s a long time,” Dean answered seriously.
“Yes it is,” Mary nodded. “So don’t ever do it.”
“Yes Momma,” Dean replied.
Mary stood up and moved the gate so Dean could get down and run around the yard.
Sam was just starting to use the walker, he hadn’t had much practice but he was starting to realize if he moved his legs enough he would move. Mostly whenever he was in the walker, he’d end up stuck in a corner and keep trying to go through it. As soon as Mary let him go, Sam scooted across the deck to the corner by the stairs and appeared to be watching Dean run around making airplane noises.
Mary couldn’t wait to watch both her boys running around down there. Somedays she thought she was as anxious about it as Dean was for those moments. Babies were fun, hard work, yes still they had their moments, watching her boys play and learn was the highlight of most of her days, but she knew there would be something about the two of them together, Dean no doubt having Sam dressed as Robin running after him, that would make the constant asking when Sam was going to be big enough to do stuff worth trying not to roll her eyes. Sam started to fuss, so Mary stood up to turn him around. Sam bounced in his chair and laughed, that adorable little smile of his one little tooth sticking out.
“You want to run around with Dean don’t ya?” Mary smiled. “You probably want to play with him as much as he wants to play with you.
“Momma!” came a scream from the backyard.
Mary stood up as fast as she could and scanned the yard. Dean was on the ground below the swing holding his leg.
“Momma!” he screamed again. “I broke my leg.”
“I’m on my way, baby,” Mary said jumping the gate and rushing down to him. “What happened?”
“I jumped off the swing and I broke my leg,” Dean pouted clutching his leg with both hands.
“Let me see sweetheart,” Mary said pulling his hands away. “It’s okay, just let me see.”
Dean’s leg was not broken, the skin was barely broken.
“You’ll be okay,” Mary said sweeping him up. “It’s not broken, you just need a band aid.”
“You promise,” Dean said shoving his face into his mom’s shoulder. “It feels broken.”
“You’ll be fine,” Mary said as they climbed the stairs and Mary jumped the gate. She placed Dean on the ground next to Sam. “Stay here and watch your brother. I’ll go get the first aid kit.”
“Okay,” Dean mumbled, grabbing his leg again.
Sam did his best to roll over to Dean in his walker, hands out in front of him.
“Hi, Sammy,” Dean nodded. “Are you having fun outside? I was having lots of fun and then I broke my leg. When you’re big enough to play, I’m gonna make sure you don’t get hurt too bad. Daddy said that’s what being a big brother is about, making sure that you don’t do stuff that I did was not too smart.”
Mary returned with the first aid kit and sat down next to Dean. “What on earth did you do?”
“I was swinging,” Dean explained while Mary washed off his leg. “And I thinked ‘I could jump and go really far.’ So I jumped. And I did not go far at all. I just fell.”
“That’s how gravity works, kiddo,” Mary smirked.
“I don’t know what that is,” Dean confessed.
“In my experience,” Mary replied opening up an alcohol wipe. “Boys don’t learn too much about gravity until they’re teenagers. This is the first in a long line of you jumping off stuff and being surprised when you get hurt. This is gonna sting.”
Mary cleaned out the small cut on Dean’s knee while he winced and made it look a whole lot worse than it actually was.
“Are you done now?” Dean whimpered.
“Yep,” Mary nodded as she pressed the band aid on. “I just gotta kiss it, make it all better.”
“That works?” Dean asked.
“Of course,” Mary smiled. “Just like magic.”
“Thank you,” Dean smiled. “I think I’m gonna get some of my action figures and play on the deck now.”
“I think that’s a fantastic idea,” Mary said pushing herself up and brushing off her knees. “Sammy was watching you through the bars. I think he wants to play with you.”
“I wanna play with you,” Dean smiled. “I’ll get my toys and then we’ll play army mans. Okay?”
“I’m not done doing my grown up stuff,” Mary said. “So you can go get your toys, but you’re gonna have to play with Sammy for little bit.”
“Okay,” Dean nodded as he stood up. “I’ll get Sammy’s toys. We’ll play with them.”
He walked back into the house with an exaggerated limp.
“You’re brother is something else, Sam,” Mary laughed pulling Sam toward her as she went back over to her chair. “One of a kind.”
After dinner, while Dean played with Sam on the floor in the living room, Mary and John sat together at the table discussing their days.
“I’ve been thinking about daycare,” Mary said.
“Starting one?” John asked, clearly hoping that wasn’t the case.
“No putting Dean in one,” Mary answered “Just to get him out, around kids his own age. It’ll help him when he starts kindergarten next fall. There’ll be less of a transition for him.”
“Isn’t it too late?” John asked. “Schools already started for the year.”
“I can start him in a program in January after he turns five,” Mary said. “I’ve looked into it. I think it will be really good for him.”
“I don’t see why not,” John smirked. “If you think you can handle it.”
“I would love some time for myself,” Mary said. “I know it sounds a little selfish, but I used to run all the time. I haven’t been able to do that since Dean was two. I used push him in the stroller and run now he’s just took big. If he was at school I could do that with Sammy. It would be really good for him to be out of the house and around kids. He’s going to have to learn sometime. All the other kids around his age in the neighborhood are in some kind of school I don’t want him to be behind. Plus, it would just be nice to have a little bit of time to just be me. He gets clingy.”
“Alright,” John nodded. “Let me know what you want to do.”
“I think it will really good for him,” Mary nodded. “I love Dean to death but sometimes he’s just too much.”
“Mary,” John said quickly nodding toward the doorway.
“It would be great to just be able to exhale,” Mary continued. “Just get rid of him for a couple hours a day. It would be fantastic.”
“Mary,” John said again, more seriously.
Mary turned toward the doorway where Dean was standing, his eyes filled with tears.
“You wanna get rid of me,” Dean huffed.
“No,” Mary said quickly running over, but Dean was faster and turned and shot up the stairs before she could get to him.
“How the hell am I gonna explain that?” Mary said rolling her eyes.
“Go up there before he really thinks you hate him,” John shrugged. “I’ll put Sammy down.”
“Thanks,” Mary sighed. She climbed the stairs and made her way into Dean’s room where he was laying face down sobbing into his pillow.
“Go away,” Dean snuffled. “I heard you say you wanted to get rid of me. I knowed this would happen! I knowed this was why you got Sam. I knowed it! I knowed when you first telled me about him. You don’t want me no more.”
“No,” Mary said sitting down next to him. “That’s not what I said at all.”
“Yes it is!” Dean yelled rolling over. “You said ‘I wanna get rid of Dean.’ I heard you. You thinked I didn’t, but I did and I know the truth!”
“No, Dean, I was talking to your dad about you going to school,” Mary explained. “I don’t want to get rid if you. I would never ever get rid of you. I love you very much.”
“You said I was too clingy,” Dean pouted. “I don’t even know what that means.”
“Dean,” Mary said trying to scoop Dean into her arms but he rolled away from her. “Listen to me. I do not want to get rid of you. I want you to go to school and learn.”
“I learn here,” Dean pouted. “You don’t want to teach me no more? That’s why you want to get rid of me.”
“I don’t think I’m the best person to teach you anymore,” Mary explained. “You’re getting too smart for me.”
Dean looked up at his mom very skeptically.
“You know how Jamie across the street goes to school?” Mary asked, Dean nodded. “I was telling Daddy that I think you should go to school too. I think it would be good for you to hang out with other little kids instead of just me and Sammy.”
“I like being with you and Sammy,” Dean replied. “It’s my favorite. You just want me to go away so it will be just you and Sammy. I know it.”
“No,” Mary said seriously. “I want you to be the smartest boy in you class. You can’t do that if you don’t go to school.”
“You love Sam more than me,” Dean huffed. “I know it.”
“Dean,” Mary said softly. “I want you to listen really close. I love you and your brother the same. You’re getting to be a big boy now, and you gotta get ready to experience new things, like leaving the house and me to go school for a couple hours a day. It’s not going to be for a while, me and Daddy were just talking about it. I said the wrong thing. I don’t want to get rid of you. I want you to go to school and get really smart. I love you and your brother more than anything.”
“More than Daddy?”
“Definitely more than Daddy,” Mary nodded. “Not even a contest.”
“More than Sam?”
“I love both of you the same amount.”
“If you had to chose?” Dean said blinking so that residual tears rolled out of his eyes. “Am I your favorite.”
“Sure,” Mary nodded.
“You don’t wanna trade me in?” Dean asked.
“Never,” Mary said. “There is no one in the world that could ever replace you.”
“I want you to know something,” Dean said. “I want you to know that every day that I spend with you is the best day of my whole life.”
Mary smiled, doing her best not to cry herself. “I feel the same way about you, Dean. Now, come on, let’s go downstairs, maybe we can watch a movie.”
“I can stay up late?” Dean asked.
“Just this once,” Mary nodded.
“Are you buttering me up?” Dean asked sitting up. “So that you can give me away.”
“I won’t ever give you away,” Mary promised. “It’ll be you and me forever and ever.” She bopped Dean on the nose. “I’m really sorry you overheard something that made you upset. That is not what I meant. Sometimes grown ups say things to other grown ups that mean something different than what kids think they mean.”
“It’s okay,” Dean said forcing a small smile. “I think I understand.”
“You’re my precious little Angel,” Mary said reaching out to pull Dean into a hug. “I don’t know what I would do without you.”
“I don’t know what I would do without you either,” Dean replied, a great big smile across his face.