Any Given Thursday

“What’s more disgusting: off-brand baby food or a pile of dog poop?”, he says without even looking up from his science project. “Um, well I’m going to go with dog poop. But there is certainly some gross baby food out there…”, I reply. I laugh and cut his sandwich into fourths.

Today, when coffee went cold I simply gave up and poured it over ice. Today, our seven month old decided to crawl and say “Papa” for the first time. Today, an inquisitive, kind hearted, and often hilarious six year old has yet again spent hours creating experiments with circuit boards; taking breaks to run through the backyard.

I leave the room to put Isaiah down for his nap. And from down the hall I can hear Ezra inquiring of a visitor, “Do you live in the country, city, or the suburbs like us?”. I can’t quite make out the quiet reply but then hear the louder, higher pitch of his little boy voice confirm, “Ah, so like here then…”. When I step back into the living room he asks for help with a math equation. We complete subtraction for the day and move on to spelling.

I watch his pencil shape letters on to paper. My gaze moves up and out the front window.  For a moment, I’m lost. Staring at young kale, chard, and cabbage plants dancing in the wind together. I return to the sound of his voice. “Can I have a glass of milk? I can’t reach it.”

My heart breaks over the years too quickly ticking and his fragile innocence seeping out of a partially toothless grin. How can he seem so young and yet so grown? I want to bottle up this piece of life. I want to be able to return to it, pull the cork, take a deep inhale of exactly how it feels for years to come. Instead it slips through my fingers.

I pour the milk. He takes the cup from my hands and carefully walks back to the table. Careful not to spill…his dinosaur print pants inching bit by bit. A cry suddenly leaps down the hall. “I’m going to grab your brother. Open up the next book. I’ll be right back.” As I open the bedroom door, I see a little foot kicking off it’s blanket. “Why hello sweet boy. How was your nap?” He reaches out for me and as I bring him to my chest I feel everything stop.

I breathe deep. “It won’t last..”, the changing light whispers. “I’ll hold it close while it does.”, I reply.