You know those moments when another person is so gorgeous and such a separate person that you want to cry and laugh and squeeze them and watch them without them knowing, all at once? This morning I parked the car, turned off the engine, turned around to say goodbye to Moomin, and he was staring straight ahead with a thousand-mile stare, his lips moving slightly in some mysterious dialogue. I waited a few minutes to see if he’d snap out of it, then patted him, handed over his backpack, and booted him out the door. (“Oh! We’re here. Okay bye Mom.”)
I watched him shoulder the tiny backpack with its “Batman” and “PUNK” sew-on patches. He tugged his jacket down and out from behind the backpack, where it had bunched up. I don’t know how to describe this, and it was just my state of mind, but his sheer person-hood seemed to shine out of him like a glorious beautiful star on fire. He began to mosey purposefully up the hill to the yard where they gather and line up before the bell rings. As he climbed up on the wooden pilings along the walkway I could tell he was re-entering his daydream, or maybe a scenario from a movie or book with dialogue recited under his breath, just from the way he was walking, so that he had the layer of properly-going-to-class but also a thick layer of daydream over it or underneath it. I felt a complex tangle of things including the love of whatever he is thinking or might be that I can’t see and never will, a concept that needs its own particular word.
He is still so small but getting bigger, so that last night when I wrapped him up in a towel and carried him to bed (he likes to be folded up completely like a cocoon, for fun, and thrown on the bed bouncily) I realized soon he’ll be too big for me to pick him up that easily. And then he’ll be a hulking teenager and will be even more separate and intense and distant, and I’ll think of this moment and others like it, watching him walk up the hill to class.
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