Sam had a stubborn streak a mile long, even when he was just nine months old.
While Dean sat between the motel beds pushing his matchbox cars on imaginary highways John readied himself to try the jarred vegetables again.
"Alright, champ," John said as he adjusted the baby on his lap. "Let’s try this again."
Sam sat perfectly, toes wiggling and babbling. Perfectly until John picked up the tiny baby spoon, loaded with pulp labeled as carrots. That was when the baby decided to grab the spoon, sliding his hand down to the food and smooshing the orange mush between his fingers.
John removed the utensil from his son’s hand and gently cleaned the carrot mess. Sam clapped happily and giggled before leaning back onto his father’s chest. Inhaling deeply the sweet smell of Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo, John kissed the top of his son’s head. It wasn’t the first time that day John had wondered what business he had trying to raise two little boys by himself out of a car trunk. But, just as before, the image of Mary burning on the ceiling gave him all of the resolve he needed to keep going.
"Okay, buddy, I need you to eat a little before we hit the road. Can we try one more time?"
"Can I try, dad?" Dean asked quietly. The cars were in a pile on the floor and Dean stood next to the table.
The sound of the little boy’s voice had been so absent since the fire that John had to stop himself for pushing for more. It was a beautiful sound that had sorely been missed.
"Alright," John nodded, turning slightly to angle the baby towards his brother.
"Hey, Sammy," Dean smiled.
The baby clapped and cooed.
"Are you ready for the airplane?" Dean asked as he picked up the little spoon and made engine noises. "Here it comes, Sammy. Op’ up! He’s landing!"
And like magic Sam let his brother place the overloaded spoon into his mouth. The baby’s cheeks puffed out with the food and he tried grabbing the spoon from Dean.
"More planes, Sammy. Den you can have the spoon." Dean scooped up more carrots and continued the engine noises.
When all that was left in the jar was stripes of orange around the sides Dean gave the spoon to Sam. Immediately the baby hit the spoon against the edge of the table and giggled.
With relief John sighed,
"Mom always did it that way," Dean said, worrying the hem of his shirt. "She said he was a mew."
"A mew?" John’s brows pulled together.
"Yup. ‘Tubborn as a mew."
A mule. Stubborn as a mule. She had been right, as usual.