Welcome back! I apologize for the technical glitches with last week's excerpt. I'm out of town again this weekend, so I hope pre-posting works this time! Here's another excerpt from Sunlight and Shadows:
Another typical Monday morning in the Carmichael household. Brad wanted to pound his head against a wall. He couldn't find a clean shirt, and none of his socks had a matching mate. He'd forgotten to do the laundry over the weekend, and now he was out of clean clothes. How could he have been so careless? Lynn would never have forgotten. The house was always showroom perfect, and the entire family always wore clothes that were not only clean but perfectly coordinated. He'd never appreciated that, just took it for granted.
"Daddy, do you have another headache?"
Brad turned to his daughter, who stood in his bedroom doorway. She was dressed in one of her Sunday dresses, complete with tights and dress shoes.
"Princess, it's not Sunday. You're going to school today, not church."
"I know, but I don't have any clean shirts or socks for school. So I put on a dress."
He grimaced. "I'm sorry honey. I'll have to do laundry tonight."
"I'll help you, Daddy."
"Thanks sweetheart. You're so smart, figuring out what to do. I wish I could figure out what to wear because all my shirts are dirty, too."
Jennie's little face crunched into a frown. "What about that sweater Grandma gave you for Christmas? You haven’t worn it yet."
A sweater. He'd never been into sweaters, and the stylish cable knit creation his mother-in-law had given him was still in the gift box in his closet. But desperate times called for desperate measures. He pulled the box from the closet floor and opened it. "That will work, but what shall I wear under it?"
Jennie pulled the sweater out from the box. "Daddy, there's a shirt in here, too."
He looked. A turtleneck shirt. Definitely not his style, but it was clean. It would do.
"Princess, you're a genius. Have you eaten breakfast yet?"
"No. I couldn't find any milk."
Rats. He hadn't done the grocery shopping over the weekend, either. "I'm sorry, Princess. I don't think we have anything on the calendar tonight. It looks like laundry and grocery shopping are what we're going to do."
"So what shall we eat for now? We have some leftover Chinese food."
"I don't feel like eating that. Can I have some crackers and peanut butter?"
Peanut butter. Protein. Crackers were almost like toast. "Okay. Do we have enough for me to eat some, too? Do you need me to get the peanut butter out of the cupboard?"
"I think there's enough. I can reach it. You put it in the snack drawer."
"Okay, sweetie. Crackers and peanut butter for breakfast."
He finished dressing, feeling like the shoe-in candidate for Worst Father of the Year.
Tonight, he would definitely have to put his band director hat away and wear his Dad hat.
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