A video channel teaches Clay about much more than home improvement. (Male AR; underwear; a small amount of nudity and spanking)
Clay was trying to fix the leak in his kitchen sink, and since he had no idea how to do it himself, he pulled up youtube on his phone, looking for a video to show him how. Trouble was, there wasn’t one video - there were dozens and dozens. He pulled one up at random, and gave up as soon as the narrator started talking about “pop up flanges” like he was supposed to know what that meant.
The second video he stumbled on was much better. It walked him through repairing the sink, step by step, at just the right pace. The narrator had a deep, confident voice which made the video a pleasure to listen to, and not only explained things clearly, but even threw in some entertaining stories while they were doing steps that took some time. By the time the video was over, Clay had not only fixed his sink, but felt like he’d learned something from it. He even knew what a pop-up flange was now.
In fact, Clay felt confident enough to try tackling something harder - the annoying clicking noise his heater had made ever since he’d moved in. The first place he checked for internet help, of course, was the same youtube channel, a channel called “Papa’s Workshop”, which did indeed have a video about dealing with a clicking heater.
Again, the narrator - the eponymous Papa, presumably - started going step by step through how to repair a heater. This one was a little more discursive than the first one; Papa was actually demonstrating on three different kinds of heaters, one of which, fortunately, was like Clay’s, but it meant a lot of sitting and listening as the man talked about what to do with the other two.
Clay was watching the screen more, and got a clearer look at the guy. He was a hairy man in his forties, muscled but with a bit of a paunch as well - the thing people had started calling a “dad bod”, which seemed appropriate on a man who went by “papa". Part way through the video, it became clear why the man went by “papa": his son wandered into the room and was promptly recruited to help out, holding parts and tightening or untightening things as instructed.
The boy couldn’t have been more than nine, and he obviously hadn’t planned to participate in this - he was barely dressed, no socks and no shirt covering his skinny torso, just a pair of mesh shorts sagging down enough to reveal the top of some colorful pair of underwear. But just watching the boy in the video, Clay could see the admiration on the boy’s face as he listened to his father tell him how to do the job, and his eagerness to show his father he could do what he was told. Clay even felt a pang of jealousy at their obvious closeness; if his own father had taught him this sort of thing, he wouldn’t need to learn it from internet videos.
Eventually Clay finished repairing his heater, and the video ended, but Clay was still curious. He loaded up youtube on his computer, looked up the Papa’s Workshop channel, and started skimming through the video titles and previews. There turned out to be hundreds of videos on the channel. There were plenty more on home repair and maintenance: here was one on installing window shades, and here was one on how to build a birdhouse. Others were focused on activities with his son. The two had a series of videos reviewing various products together, or just trying them out. And some were simply the man talking to the camera, often while the boy played nearby.
Curious, Clay clicked another at random. It was filmed earlier than the last one, and the boy looked more like seven in it. They were in their apparently quite spacious backyard, and the man was showing the boy how to fly a kite. Surprisingly, the boy was wearing even less in this one, running around in the grass wearing nothing but blue briefs with R2D2 on them. Most of the video simply consisted of the man giving the boy - his name, Clay quickly learned, was Jack - gentle guidance while the boy tried to get the kite to work. When he wasn’t talking to the boy, the man would turn to the camera, sometimes adding additional advice to the viewer about how to fly kites, but often explaining why he was teaching Jack the way he was. He turned out to have a whole philosophy about how to raise a son, and listening to him explain how he was teaching Jack to be capable and independent while preserving his childhood, Clay felt another pang of jealousy.
After it was over, Clay closed the site. He felt weird watching a video of Jack in his underwear, and worried that anyone who somehow saw his viewing history would think he was a creep. And wasn’t it odd that the man didn’t tell the boy to put on some pants before filming a video.
He tried to distract himself, but curiosity got the better of him, and he googled “Papa’s Workshop”. There turned out to be a web forum dedicated to it, where the channels followers discussed the channel. A lot of it seemed to be people discussing the parenting philosophy the man - the site’s users universally referred to him as just “Papa” - espoused in his videos, though there was also chatter about other topics. It turned out there was even a discussion about how often Jack appeared in his underwear.
“I worry,” someone had written, “that showing these videos of Jack in his underwear might attract creeps. Shouldn’t his father be protecting him better?”
The post had gotten a stern response from a moderator. It said, “This has been brought up before, and answered by no less a source than Papa himself. Have you watched his video about it?” followed by a link.
The only other post in the thread was from the first person: “Thanks for linking me to Papa’s explanation. It makes a lot of sense, and I understand better now.”
Curious, Clay clicked on the link. It took him, of course, to one of Papa’s videos. Papa was sitting in a chair facing the camera, and eight-year-old Jack, wearing batman briefs and nothing else, was sitting cross-legged next to him. “I’ve gotten some messages asking me about whether I should make Jack put on more clothes when we’re filming,” he said, ruffling Jack’s hair with one hand. Especially when he was speaking directly to the camera, it was easy to just focus on Papa’s deep, confident voice. “I understand why people say that, and I think it’s important to explain why that’s wrong-headed.”
Papa went on for a while, talking about the importance of preserving the innocence of childhood. He talked about how in the past, people would have thought there was nothing untoward about a little boy playing outside wearing just what was comfortable. He told his viewers that it was a sign of the decadence of the age that people saw Jack and immediately thought about creeps.
Jack was smiling and nodding at the camera through it all, and Clay found himself nodding along, too. Jack was an innocent little boy; of course he was doing nothing wrong. By the time the video was over, Clay, like whoever had posted that question to the forum, found himself completely convinced by Papa’s explanation. Impressed by Papa’s parenting wisdom, Clay was pleased to find that someone on the forum had made a playlist of Papa’s most important videos about how to parent a boy.
Clay spent the next couple hours watching them chronologically, and it gave him a much clearer idea of Papa’s whole philosophy. It was a philosophy that called back to a simpler time, before now, before Clay’s childhood, really: a world with Papa as the powerful, authoritative patriarch, loving but in charge, and Jack as innocent, playful child, exploring and learning and occasionally getting up to mischief.
Over the next few days, Papa’s Workshop and the Papa’s Workshop web forum became a regular part of Clay’s life. He made an account on the forum, asked for advice on which videos to watch next, got lots of suggestions and watched many of them. He learned that Papa financed his videos by posting some of them behind a locked pay account, and some of the forum goers thought the most important videos were there. Clay decided to wait a little before throwing money at this new interest, especially given how expensive a membership turned out to be.
Instead, he focused on the crafts videos. He bought a saw, some pieces of wood, some screws, and made a birdhouse, following the instructions in Papa’s video to the letter. He hadn’t even wanted a birdhouse before, but his third floor apartment didn’t have any outdoor space, and the more he watched of Papa’s videos, the more he felt like he was missing out on something by not spending more time outside.
And then he saw that there was a monthly meetup for people from the forum which was happening that weekend in another city only an hour away. It was only when he was most of the way there that Clay realized he didn’t really know anything about the other forum users other than that they were also enthusiasts of Papa’s Workshop, and he had no idea what they were going to do. But he was almost there, and it seemed silly to turn around, so he finished the trip, promising himself he’d leave it turned out to be weird.
The meetup was in a large park, and by the time he got there, there were a couple dozen people already there. Most of them were families. More precisely, most of them were pairs like Papa’s family, a man and a son. The men varied a bit in age, some were as young as Clay, in their late twenties, and a few were even younger, and each had a boy, most between six and nine, with a few younger boys around. The men all, to a one, had a body vaguely like Papa’s: hairy, a bit of a paunch, but well-muscled. The boys were a little more varied, some skinny like Jack, some huskier, some short, some tall. Some of them, especially the younger ones, were staying with their papas, but many of them were running around in a big mass, playing frisbee tag. (Clay recalled there was a video he hadn’t watched yet about the game.) It was only natural on a sunny day like this that none of the boys were wearing shirts, and many of them had stripped to just their underwear - every one of them wearing colorful briefs like Jack did.
Besides the families, the rest of the attendees were like Clay, single guys who seemed to have come alone. Clay was looking around at the others, debating whether to approach one or leave, when he noticed a young man arrive and stand, even more awkwardly than Clay felt, at the edge of the field. The guy was younger than Clay - he couldn’t have been more than twenty, barely an adult - and as Clay looked at him, Clay had a funny feeling he couldn’t quite place.
Clay approached him. “Hi, I’m Clay,” he said, trying to sound confident.
“Um, hi. I’m Nolan,” the guy answered.
He seemed nervous, and Clay suddenly knew - knew, with absolute certainty - that Nolan wasn’t a proper man at all, that he hadn’t been raised according to Papa’s values, and that he was here because, even though Nolan didn’t know it yet, he wanted someone to help him grow up properly. Out of some instinct, Clay put his hand on Nolan’s shoulder. Only after he’d done it did he remember seeing Papa put his hand on Jack’s shoulder in exactly the same way. “You watch Papa’s videos,” Clay asked, though it wasn’t a question.
Nolan nodded and looked at Clay and his eyes got big. “Yeah,” he whispered.
Clay hesitated. There was a next step, he was sure, but he didn’t know what it was. He was suddenly sure he should have watched more of the videos before coming, that there was something somewhere in them that would have told him what to do next, but he’d only discovered Papa’s Workshop a few days ago.
He looked around the field, hoping to see something that would help. Nearby were two men a bit older than Clay, probably in their late thirties, talking to each other, and Clay caught the eye of one of them. Seeing Clay’s hand on Nolan’s shoulder and his look of confusion, that man elbowed the second man, who looked over and then approached them. “You look like you need a hand,” he told Clay, and put a hand on Nolan’s other shoulder, just the way Clay was. “A boy needs a strong papa to show him how to be a man,” he told Nolan. Clay nodded with relief - that was it, that was the thing he’d been supposed to say next.
Nolan nodded, too. “Are you a man?” He asked Nolan, and Nolan shook his head.
The first man, the one who’s eye Clay had caught, had followed his friend over and, to Clay’s surprise, clapped a hand on Clay’s shoulder. “And what about you. Are you a man?” And Clay felt himself letting go of Nolan’s shoulder, and becoming very aware of this man’s hand on his shoulder. Of the way he felt safe and protected knowing the man was holding on to him.
“No, sir,” Clay said, shaking his head. As he said it, he felt the truth to the bottom of his soul: he wasn’t a man, he never really had been. He’d always been a confused, overgrown boy, waiting for someone - waiting for this man here - to take him and show him how to grow up properly.
He felt the man pushing gently on his shoulder, and wasn’t quite sure why until he saw Nolan already sitting cross-legged on the grass. Clay hurried to follow, and he and Nolan sat on the grass while the the two men crouched near them. The men asked them lots of questions - their names, how old they were, about their lives, and about how many of Papa’s videos they’d watched. Clay and Nolan answered eagerly. Nolan was only nineteen, Clay learned, but had been watching Papa’s videos far longer and seen more of them, and Clay found himself feeling jealous of Nolan.
At some point Clay realized he didn’t know the men’s names name, and then realized he didn’t need to, because he knew who they were: the first one was his papa and the second one was Nolan's. Not THE Papa, but their papas. And realizing that, realizing that he had a papa now, made Clay feel warm and happy inside.
After they’d talked a bit, Clay was beginning to feel antsy, and was glad when his papa told him and Nolan they should play a bit. All four stood up and their papas led Clay and Nolan towards where the boys were still running around. Clay realized he wanted, more than anything, to join them running around out there, and started to run towards them when he felt his papa’s hand pulling him back. “You’re not ready for that, Clay,” his papa said.
Instead, their papas led them past those boys, to a different part of the park. Here, Clay saw that the other men he’d seen earlier, the ones who hadn’t come with a family. About half were standing on the sides talking to each other. Though the other half looked like adults, Clay could see now that they were all like him and Nolan - a bunch of overgrown boys, stripped to their assorted underwear and playing their own game of frisbee tag.
Nolan eagerly stripped his own clothes off, first his shoes and socks, then his shirt and finally his pants, and, wearing only a pair of grey boxer briefs, charged in to join the other boys.
Clay’s papa looked at him. “Well?” he asked, clearly expecting Clay to join.
Clay looked at the ground and shuffled his feet shyly. “I don’t know how to play,” he confessed.
Clay’s papa clapped him on the back. “You should have said so immediately,” he said. “Boys should never be embarrassed about not knowing things. Come on, I’ll show you.” Clay’s papa sat down on the grass, and Clay found himself sitting awkwardly on his papa’s lap while his papa pulled up a video on his phone. Together, they watched the video where Papa and Jack, together, explained how to play frisbee tag. Once it was over, Clay didn’t need any further encouragement: he bounded up, stripped down to his checkered boxer shorts, and ran in to play with the other overgrown boys.
By the time the game was over, Clay was tired and sweaty and happy, just the way a boy should be. His papa had a gatorade ready for him, and he downed it eagerly. After, Clay and Nolan gathered their clothes and the four of them walked back to their papas' car. Clay was aware that he’d brought his own car, and wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, but didn’t worry about it - his papa, he was sure, would take care of it.
The papas got in the front seat of the car and Clay and Nolan got in the back and buckled themselves in, leaving their clothes in a heap on the middle seat, and Nolan’s papa drove them to their new home. Their papas lived together, they learned, in a nice suburban house with a big yard for boys like them to run around in, which sounded like lots of fun. On the ride, Clay remembered that he’d briefly tried to be Nolan’s papa, and thought about how silly that was, and how unprepared he’d been for the meetup, and how lucky he was to have a papa now who took care of things like that for him.
At home, their papas showed them their new bedroom. It was set up with lots of toys, and a single big bed in the middle of the room. “Do we have to share a bed?” Clay asked, and immediately felt ashamed when his papa sighed in disappointment.
“We’ll talk about this later, Clay,” his papa said.
Clay shuffled his feet and said, “Yes, sir.”
Dinner was fish sticks, and after dinner, their papas told them to put away the dishes. “Do we haaaave too?” Nolan whined.
Nolan’s papa looked angry for a moment, but when he spoke, his voice was stern but calm. “Nolan, that behavior is unacceptable. Boys, have you seen Papa’s video about proper discipline?” They both shook their heads.
“Clay hasn’t seen any of the subscriber only videos yet,” Clay’s papa reminded Nolan’s.
“Well, no time like the present,” Nolan’s dad said. “Come on boys.” They all trudged to the living room where a big TV was set up. Nolan’s papa sat on the couch and, with a few button presses, loaded up one of Papa’s videos. Nolan stood nervously next to him, while Clay stood further away, and Clay’s papa stood next to him, hands gently resting on Clay’s shoulders. The video started. Played on this big screen in high quality sound, it was even more obvious that everything Papa said was absolutely right.
In this video, he explained that Jack had just misbehaved, and Papa was going to take this opportunity to show his viewers how to properly, lovingly punish a child. Papa was sitting on a couch facing the camera, with Jack, wearing only blue and grey striped briefs, standing next to him looking sullen. Other than their different underwear, Clay realized it wasn’t so different from how Nolan and Nolan’s papa were arranged right now.
Papa instructed Jack to pull down his underwear and lie on Papa’s knee, and to Clay’s surprise, Jack did. Nolan’s papa gestured for Nolan to do the same. For a moment, Clay thought Nolan was going to refuse, and then Nolan’s papa said, “Come here, Nolan,” in just the same authoritative tone Papa used, and after that Clay wasn’t at all surprised that Nolan did as he was told. Nolan pulled his boxer briefs down and, just like Jack, lay over his papa’s knee, bare butt facing up. Clay looked back and forth between the video and what was happening in the living room, as the two spankings happened in perfect synchrony. Over the sound of the slaps was Papa’s voice, saying how the slaps should be firm but not too hard, just enough to remind Jack and Nolan of their respective papa’s authority over them.
After, Jack curled up with Papa and Nolan curled up with his own papa, and the papas gently reminded their sons that they loved them, and wanted them to learn how to behave properly. Clay wasn’t sorry to avoid the spanking, but he felt jealous of the closeness that came after, and stepped back into his own papa’s embrace.
“Don’t worry,” Clay’s papa reassured him. “We’ll get some time to cuddle later.” Indeed, after the dishes were put away, Nolan went to play outside and Clay curled up on the couch, head on his papa’s lap, while his papa played another video Clay hadn’t seen before.
This one must have been recent - Jack looked nine in it - and Papa explained that a boy had been giving Jack a hard time, and he was having the boy over for a sleepover to get the boys some time playing together to make friends. Early in the video, the boy made fun of Jack’s outfit - Jack, as usual, was in just his underwear, this pair red with white dots, while the other boy was fully dressed in cargo shorts, a t-shirt, shoes, and socks. By the end of the evening, though, the boy seemed to have realized what Jack - and Clay - already knew, that underwear was plenty of clothing for little boys; in the final scene of them outside, the boy was getting chased around by Jack with a water gun, wearing nothing but camouflage boxer briefs.
Papa cut in to say some stuff about appropriate sleepover games, which Clay ignored, trusting his own papa to remember that stuff, and just basked in the sound of Papa’s voice. After, the video cut back to the boys coming inside because it had gotten dark. They were wet, so Papa had them take off their clothes at the door and ushered them upstairs. Jack got his own underwear out of a drawer, and offered one to his friend, but they turned out to be too big. So Papa left and returned a minute later with a pair Clay remembered seeing Jack wear in a different video, black briefs with blue piping and rocket ships, which the friend eagerly pulled on. Clay must have misunderstood something, because at the start of the video, he’d thought the boy was in the same grade as Jack, but seeing them standing next to each other, the other boy was obviously several years younger than Jack. After a few more activities, the video ended with the boys cuddled up in a pile in Jack’s bed to go to sleep.
“So, what do you think about sharing a bed with Nolan now, Clay?”
“It’ll be so much fun!” Clay shouted.
“Good boy,” his papa said approvingly, patting his head. Clay beamed.
In the morning, Clay woke up gently at the same time as Nolan, their intertwined bodies tugging back and forth as they made their way towards consciousness. As his memories started to make sense, Clay pulled away from Nolan abruptly.
“What’s wrong?” asked Nolan.
“Shit, what happened to us yesterday?” Clay asked. “I left my car…we…” Clay started at Nolan in horror, realizing the way they’d both behaved yesterday.
Nolan nodded. “Woah, I guess we were acting like kids. We’d better get out of here before our…before they wake up.”
Clay nodded back, relieved that the teenager (Clay tried very hard not to think of him as a boy) was equally concerned.
The last either could remember of their clothes was that they’d been left in the car. They found the car keys, and Nolan offered to sneak outside in his underwear to grab their clothes as quickly as possible. Relieved that Nolan was willing to do that, Clay agreed, and stood in the kitchen near the back door, waiting impatiently for Nolan to get back with them.
The door opened again quickly, and Nolan came back in, but all he had in his hand was his cell phone. He hit play on the video he must have queued up outside and thrust it in Clay’s face. It was a video of Papa, of course, lecturing a nearly-in-tears six year old Jack - and the viewer - about how boys needed to tell their papa when they thought something was wrong. Clay tried to look away, but as soon as he heard Papa’s voice, he began to feel ashamed. By the time it was over, Clay was also looking at the ground, ashamed and nearly in tears himself.
The papas must have heard the noise and come in the room, because Clay next heard his papa say, “What happened?”
“Clay was worried about something, and trying to run away instead of telling you!” Nolan shouted, trying to get some credit. “And I showed him the video to remind him that was bad!”
“Good job,” Nolan’s papa said.
“Is that true?” Clay’s papa asked.
Clay just nodded, still too ashamed to really look up. He wasn’t surprised when his papa took his hand and led him to the living room, and didn’t even need to be told what to do: Clay pulled his boxers down and lay down on his papa’s knee. He felt three swift, sharp slaps on his bare bottom, and started crying. “I’m sorry, papa! I’m sorry!”
“I know,” his papa said, holding him. “I love you, and I know you’ll know to do better next time.”
Clay nodded. “I will!”
After they’d had a few minutes to cuddle and for Clay to calm down, they went back to the kitchen, where Nolan’s papa had started making pancakes. Nolan had changed into a fresh pair of underwear, dark blue briefs with a light blue waistband, but something else looked different about him too. It wasn’t until they were sitting at the table and Clay could compare heights that he realized - Nolan wasn’t an overgrown little boy anymore, he was just a regular little boy now.
After breakfast, he raised the issue with his papa: “Papa, Nolan's a little boy.”
“Nolan was always a little boy,” his papa responded. Clay was about to try to clarify, when his papa realized what he meant. “Oh, you mean he got smaller.” Knowing his papa understood him made Clay feel good; he smiled and nodded. “Yes, he did.” His papa sounded disappointed that Clay had noticed, and Clay couldn’t tell why.
“Am I going to get small, too?” Clay asked.
“When you’re ready,” his papa answered. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything.” And Clay felt sure his papa would be able to take care of everything, and knowing that his papa thought it was okay was enough to make him stop worrying about it.
It turned out the four of them had a big project that day: they were going to assemble their own big outdoor climbing equipment in the backyard for Clay and Nolan to play on. That meant turning on the video of Papa assembling his, of course, and their papas doing a lot of the work while letting Clay and Nolan with jobs when it was appropriate. It didn’t take long for Clay to notice that Nolan was getting to do more than him, and more complicated tasks, too. That didn’t seem fair - first of all, Clay was still literally nearly a decade older than Nolan, and second, Nolan looked like a seven year old while Clay still had his adult body.
His still-sore bottom was a pointed reminder that even if Clay wasn’t happy about it, he’d better raise any concerns to his papa in an appropriate way. At a pause in the assembly while no one was holding anything, he approached his papa. “Papa?” he said. “How come Nolan gets to do the hard jobs? I’m bigger than him.”
His papa frowned. “You still feel bigger than him?” Clay nodded. His papa called over to Nolan’s papa. “I think it’s like we discussed - he hadn’t seen that many videos before we started, so he’s struggling with the transition. I think being six won’t work, and we’ll need to show him the early videos.” Clay didn’t understand that at all, but Nolan’s papa just nodded, and Clay’s papa took his hand and led him to the living room. "Come on, I think there’s a video that will help you understand. This was Papa’s very first video,” he added as it started. “Before he made the public youtube channel at all."
It took Clay a moment to realize that the naked guy in his mid-thirties in the video was Jack. But Papa called him Jack, and he even if he looked like a grown-up, he had Jack's mannerisms. Well, the mannerisms of a younger Jack than Clay had seen before. In this video, Papa was simply explaining all the ways you can tell that Jack is a little boy, and Jack was standing next to him quietly, one finger in his mouth and swaying a little, indifferent to the way his adult penis swings back and forth as he did. Clay watched raptly, and he and Jack nodded along as Papa pointed out all the signs; it’s not just the obvious things, like the nudity. Papa talked about how Jack’s fingers are too clumsy to tie shoelaces or hold a knife. He talked about how Jack struggled pronouncing big words, about how he slept with a stuffed bear, about how held onto the railing to get up stairs.
At some point while he was watching, Clay felt his papa pulling his boxers down. Without taking his eyes off the screen, Clay lifted his butt for a moment so his papa could get them off.
Throughout the video, Papa kept mentioning how simple Jack’s life was, and how little he could remember, and that made a lot of sense to Clay. He had the vague sense that he’d been worried about things before, but it was getting harder and harder to remember anything except what was happening right at the moment.
When the video was over, Clay’s papa led him back outside. He was naked, but of course he didn't mind that at all. Nolan and Nolan’s papa were still working on the structure to climb on, and Clay was excited to get to help, too. He couldn't do a lot of things, because his hands were too clumsy, but he had fun just carrying things back and forth. Nolan was smaller than him, which didn't make sense, because he was so much older and smarter than Clay, but no one else seemed to think it was a problem, so Clay didn't either.
When the structure was finally finished, though, there was a problem: Nolan can start climbing immediately, but Clay was too big. “I wanna climb!” he shouted at his papa.
“Of course you do,” his papa said. “I’ve got it all covered.” And Clay was relieved. Of course his papa would make sure he could play on it. Clay’s papa led him back inside and upstairs to the bedroom he shared with Nolan. They sat on the bed together and Clay’s papa pulled out his phone and showed Clay another video. This one must have been from soon after the previous one - it still had the childish Jack with the grown-up body. In this one, Papa was walking through the steps of Jack’s bedtime routine - brushing his teeth, trying to use the bathroom one last time, and so on. And each step, when explained in Papa’s clear, fatherly voice, sounded exactly right to Clay.
Eventually Papa led Jack to Jack’s bedroom, propped the camera on a shelf, and went to a drawer to get a pair of orange paw patrol briefs with a blue waistband. He held them out for Jack to step into, and Jack did. It was an odd scene, because the underwear looked like it was sized for a four year old, but Jack had no trouble stepping into the leg holes, and Papa had no trouble pulling them up. And of course he didn't, because Jack is four, and the underwear fit perfectly.
When the video ended, Clay looked eagerly at his papa. While he’d been watching, his papa had gotten a pair of briefs - white with cars on them and yellow piping - and now he held them out at ground level. Clay stepped into one hole and then the other, and his papa pulled them up, and they fit perfectly and Clay tilted his head up, up, up, to look at his much taller papa.
Excitedly, Clay ran downstairs (carefully holding the railing) and then outside to join Nolan climbing on the big structure he got to help assemble.
That night, Clay clutched his teddy bear tightly and curled up with Nolan, their legs tangling together, and dreamt happy thoughts of getting to play with all the other little boys at the Papa’s Workshop gathering next month.