Momma for her birthday got a sachet of bubble bath beads as a joke gift from a friend. She gave them to Audrey, saying, “Maybe this will make you a little less hyper.” Didn’t work out that way. An hour ago, if, hearing a ruckus, you had entered Audrey’s bathroom, you would have seen her on the stone floor, in bib overalls, by an overflowing tub, bubbles and water everywhere, the floor slippery, while a crazed Rescue Dog, Rex, ran skidding in circles shaking and yelping.
What a difference an hour makes in the life of a child, and her faithful mutt. Rex is dry now, curled up asleep at the foot of Audrey’s bed. Audrey, having had her story (about a girl named Audrey who lives in a Castle), is tucked in, her arm around her Tutor’s neck, in that moment of free fall between sleep and waking. You could hear him say, “You are very lovable, kid.” And if you listened you could hear her murmur, “mmph,” or some such. Tutor times his shot like a star basketball player, sinking one at the buzzer. He knows if he says how lovable she is while she is not yet in freefall, she will arch away, twisting onto her side, “You don’t have to always tell me that. I already know I am lovable. You don’t have to tell me over and over. Stop!” But if he times it just right, she slips into sleep, with an angelic smile dawning on her face. And he can kiss her forehead, and gently disentangle himself, leaving her to sweet dreams.
Now, he is roaming the silent library, passing before the portraits of the kings and queens, and the lesser nobility, he once mentored, so many! Some became tyrants, one went mad, a few did not much of anything, others became exemplary rulers. And what was the difference? In Tutor’s view, how well he sank the shot. What a kid needs is love. And, for an heir to a throne, it makes all the difference in the fate of the kingdom. Without love as a kid is a hole that a coliseum of fans, a country, the whole world, will not fill.