Today is the first day of the first trip he will remember. They are in North Carolina for a trial that his father is participating in for the Department of Justice. They are staying at a hotel on the beach.
They are barely into the room before the boy and his brother are in their swimsuits and heading out to the white sands.
“Let’s go. On motorcycles,” says the boy.
Stephen nods. They mount invisible motorcycles and tear across the sand. A large bluff drops off to wet sand and the waves below.
“Motorcycle jump!” the boy yells, and they leap from the ridge of the bluff, through the air, and crash into the sand halfway down the bluff. They each roll, making crash and explosion sounds. When they finally come to a rest, Stephen says, “Again?”
The boy says, “Yes!”
They hop up and start up the dune. Stephen announces, “I just made a new motorcycle.”
The boy looks over, grabs at the air, and says, “I just stole it.”
“You can’t steal my motorcycle!”
“I just did.”
Stephen waves his arms and says, “I made another.”
The boy grabs at the air and says, “And I just stole it.”
This happens twice more before Stephen yells, “Mom!” and goes running.
They reach her spot where she sits on a beach towel.
The boy says, “Fine, you can have one back.”
Their mother looks at them. “What’s the matter?”
“He keeps stealing my imaginary motorcycle.”
“Then make another one.”
“He steals everyone I make.”
“I said you can have one back.”
“He’s lying! He’s just going to steal it back.”
Their mother purses her lips. “What exactly do you want me to do about this?”