We went to Target yesterday. Right into the breach, as Kelley says, late morning on a Saturday — not exactly a down time. Will, being at the age where he is by all means “not little,” is determined not to hold my hand in the parking lot. (Mommy, close your ears.) Feeling as though he is, in fact, old enough to be counted on to walk next to me without holding my hand, I let him do it. Of course, the second I let go of him, he skipped ahead, deciding that this is the point at which to race Lucy in.

Since I am no longer new at this, I had done the scan of where drivers were, etc., so he wasn’t in any immediate danger. Also, he has so far been aware that the sharp “Stop!” actually means something. So, when I yelled it with, o.k., a little bit of panic in my voice, he did manage to come to a sudden halt.

I took his hand, explaining that this is a parking lot, and, therefore, it is not safe to run ahead. Even if it looks like a car might be stopped, there might be a driver in it waiting to pull out and not be able to see a (not) little five-year-old directly behind the bumper.

“Listen,” Will said to me in an overly patient, authoritative voice. “Don’t you think I would hear the engine if the car was about to go?”

Now I know that he is smart, and I also know that he has no qualms telling me whatever is on his mind. Still, dear reader, I was nearly speechless. I tried not to laugh as I weakly responded that yes, that was true, but that he needed to be careful nevertheless because cars could come from anywhere.

Even to my ears it was lame, and Lucy immediately stepped in to say something about cars driving too fast. Before she could finish, Will gave a sharp, “Lucy! You are not part of this conversation.”

Five, I tell you.