It began like any other trip to the bookstore. There were words of encouragement and threats of consequences. We shared a pastry and had something warm to drink. They behaved like I asked them and used their inside voices. There were pee-pee dances and occasional wanderings. It was like any other trip.

Wookie Then Thing 1 picked out a book that wasn’t his typical fare of dinosaurs or cartoon characters. It was Star Wars, and the force was suddenly strong in my boy. We discussed R2D2 and Yoda, and I explained the difference between myself and a Wookie through an awkward charade which included a public display of body hair. We were bonding.

I started planning our evening. We would only watch one movie a night, no reason to rush it. Pace this moment, I thought. Finish his training, I will.

It was set in stone, or carbonite as the case may be. Things were moving along swimmingly. We stood in line, me taking in the moment and the boys happy to be getting stuff. It was special. I placed my books on the counter and turned to the boys for theirs. Elmo for Thing 2, and my oldest boy, he had switched out Star Wars for yet another dinosaur book.

“What happened?” I asked as I looked around frantically for the Star Wars book.

“I like dinosaurs better,” he answered, smiling.