birthday boy

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For the honour of a portrait on his sixth birthday I have to give him money first. Cash and an apple, which he chews on lustily the whole time. They gave me a crown, mommy he says, walking with me down the path from the school bus. A special crown and a special picture and they sang to me and I got a spin in the chair.

I look at him and realize his eyes aren't blue anymore. They're hazel.

You can take a picture of me, he says. Two bucks and an apple.

You got it, kid.