"You're just babysitting, right?" Ellie's father asked her as they sat at the kitchen table after the party. Ellie looked over at Lon.
Lon was letting Charlie stand up on his lap. They had this game where Charlie did his silly little dance as if to make his fat legs stronger.
"No, I had to get my son." He told him. "He's with us now. His mother couldn't take care of him."
"Are you able to take care of him?" Ellie's Dad looked at him as if he wondered how could that be.
"Yeah, its all right. He's at the daycare at the University. And it doesn't cost that much since Lon works there." Ellie explained. "I know we should have called and told you, but it happened so fast, you know. And I think we'll be OK."
It wasn't perfect. But most nights Charlie slept through, and he was at a fun age. What helped the most was that he was congenial.
"Yeah, he's just so strong, you know." Lon looked at Ellie. "I think he's training us pretty well. There are a few kinks, but for the most part I'm still in shock that he's OK."
She knew Lon would leave it at that. Ellie reached out and touched Charlie's sweet cherub arm. Really, it was amazing when Ellie thought about him. He'd been bounced around so much. She really did want him to feel he had a home now.
"You let me know if you need any help, All right?" Ellie's dad looked at both of them. Ellie couldn't help but smile. She hoped they wouldn't need any help from him.
"I don't want your studies to suffer, Ellie. This is college. You really have to apply yourself, you know," He then said which shocked her that he'd say so much.
"I know." Ellie nodded. She knew her classes weren't easy. She had to figure out a way to be ready for them. It was something she'd never fully comprehended. But yes, college meant lots of studying.