Monday, March 5, 2012


He wouldn't sit still, "still" not being his thing, really, and it's not a perfect haircut. Two strands hang long over his left ear, inches past their brethren, bridge cables to a history sheared away. I think always I should cut them. I never do. I brush them back against the living forest of his head. Hide in the bushes where you'll be safe, part of me thinks. Run from this steady march of his toward bigness. Or maybe it's just a chance to graze his unctuous cheek.

Ding! he commands, bah bah bahbuh bakshi. And so you do, his willing servant: "baa, baa, black sheep, have--" Shh! he insists imperially, with a wicked grin and a hint of dimple and an upraised finger pressed to his lips. He is an arrogant ruler, cocksure of your compliance, smiling as you smile back upon him. Ding, Mama. You continue your melody like a pause button lifted and his giggles fill the room, multiplying upon themselves wildly until there is no oxygen between you and he and that faraway ceiling, just joy made sound.

He dances to this least interesting melody, swaying shoulders left while hips jut right, rotating perhaps a hula hoop in his mind, testifying to nursery rhyme like a true tent gathering believer.

They don't dance like this forever, you know, moving for the pleasure of movement, for feeling all of their bodies at once without an earbud-whispered meditation or cable-box instruction, and he sways and he stomps and he yes, sashays his happiness across three bags of wool and a childhoods-stained carpet and you know those two hairs, this dance, the age of uninhibited joy not for audience nor for approval nor for seeking anything other than the satisfaction of one's instincts, they are doomed to extinction.

But he does not know this, not yet, and so when he asks in that most haughty way that only a two-year-old can that you ding! more ding bah bah bah bahbuh bakshi, you do, and you watch, and you let a smile play across your lips until he stops you by jumping on your head

and even then you still smile, rumpled and bruised and happy to play with this wild thing extraordinaire who does not worry about next week or time management or when his hair was long, who just wants big squeezing hugs and musical accompaniment and for you to watch him mind the now and mind it along with him.

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