I wake up in time for the hotel breakfast, but The Child is still sound asleep, so I head to the breakfast room. It is mostly empty, except for Fox News playing on a lone TV, so I make myself a waffle and read a newspaper online. I wish The Child were here; she loved the hotel waffle machine the last time she used one. It was a long time ago, but it’s a pleasant memory, and bringing a waffle back to the room for her wouldn’t be the same, especially since it’s against hotel rules, and would probably be accompanied by a warning.
The official breakfast hours end, but nobody asks me to leave or begins clearing the room. A woman comes in, talking on her phone, followed by two boys; they sit at the table farthest from me. The woman continues her conversation, but the boys get up to get breakfast, passing my table on their way to the waffle maker. The younger boy doesn’t notice me, but the older boy stops at my table.
He looks at me intently, then asks, as politely as anyone has ever addressed me, Are you having a good day so far?
I tell him I am, and ask how his day is, and he tells me: Just fine, ma’am.
I take my coffee and leave the breakfast room to the brothers, who play games on their cell phones as they eat.