Snakes and Pills

078 - kind

A cool breeze swept through the house as the children pulled open the door. It led out to the patio. The concrete there had been baking for hours in the summer sun, and when the brother and sister stepped out onto it, barefoot, it seared the skin of their soles.

They did not mind it much, though, because their minds were on other things. Regardless, they only spent a moment on the burning concrete before stepping off into the cool, green grass of their backyard. The blades bent under their running strides.

Their father soon after followed them out the door, gently scolding his children about the finer points of making sure to shut a door after you've opened one, as good fathers are wont to do. When he stepped out on to the patio, though, he had sandals on, which was good, because he did not intend to run around the yard as his children did.

Instead, he carried a platter of meat that he had in his hands over to the propane-powered grill on the patio. He fired up the grill, and began to lay the perfectly seasoned and marinated meats over the flames. They sizzled and released a wonderful smell almost instantly.

The kids were not able to smell the cooking food, though. They had attached a hose to a spigot on the side of the house, and were taking turns spraying each other. It was a healthy kind of mischief, and Dad watched on from the grill. He wouldn't mind their antics, as long as they didn't turn the hose against him.

It was nearly time to flip the meat when Mom finally joined them outside. She was wearing sunglasses, through which she watched her children at play. In her motherly way, she was less approving of their shenanigans with the hose. "You kids be careful!" she cautioned. "We will!" they shot back.

When she approached her husband who was tending the grill, he quietly questioned her. "Do you really think there is any harm in them playing around with a hose? What exactly could go wrong?" She smiled. "Didn't you just warn them about leaving the door open? Kids will be kids, but they need our guidance along the way."

He nodded, and kissed her on her cheek. She sat down on the lawn chair and stared off into the sky. He returned his attention to the grill. The steaks, burgers, and dogs were all looking perfect. He wasn't entirely happy with the chicken breasts, but he imagined he was just being too critical on himself. He had a tendency to do that.

The children would eat anything, anyway. A lesser man may have not really cared about how good the food would be, because it would not be fully appreciated by those consuming it. But he cared about everything he gave to his children, even if they wouldn't be able to understand the care he put into it.

Eventually, he flicked the grill off, and began to pull the meat off. His wife got up and pulled out the little folding table they used for eating outside whenever he grilled. She brought out the buns, the vegetables, and the condiments they would be using.

"Kids, lunch is ready, come and get it!" he yelled out as he finished shutting down and putting the grill away. They put down the hose and yelled excitedly, scrambling over toward their parents. Their father knew that his wife was about to reprimand them about needing to wash up before eating. She would be right.


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