He sits on the couch frog-legged, little boy feet pressed together, Harold and the Purple Crayon settling on summer-brown legs. His hair is too long because his mother wants him to go to school with a fresh haircut and it’s not yet time and his brow furrows over words like ‘circus’ and ‘witch.’ A scab where he scraped a toe in the swimming pool last night, bleached blond leg hairs, an overnight-too-small shirt on his boy body…He wiggles while ‘reading,’ which is a subjective term when you are eight. He raps his way through Ferdinand, sings an operatic Frog and Toad, and now flips Harold silently, finally falling into the hum of reading.
On his tummy now, legs kicking the couch arm…when did they get so long? Feet so big? He is my baby, after all. Who approved this doubling of cells and stretching of ligaments?
Dogs snore in the kitchen and the A/C kicks off for a rare moment on this Kansas afternoon. Brothers are at work, sisters, too, across the street vacuuming and scrubbing and adding to their saving’s accounts. It’s rare, this moment, for baby and mama to be just by ourselves. So often we’re surrounded by the masses, louder voices and imminent needs. Caboose and I don’t often get a day like this, just the two of us.
Pages flip and the dog sighs in his sleep. Barbecue ribs simmer in the Crockpot and the washer has finally shushed its omnipresent whir.
His shorts are pilled, I notice, toenails need a good clip. Lost in his story, and I in mine, we are silent, together. What bliss.