Previous month:
March 2004
Next month:
May 2004

Moving on

Ok, so here’s the story.
For…what…two months now I’ve been quietly stressing about this meeting with my ex. It was supposed to be in March, then moved to April. And I kept preparing myself for whatever might happen. Lots of calming breaths in…cleansing breaths out. I thought I was pretty sure to go look him in the eye and sort through the details of child support with the district attorney.
Tuesday, the night before the meeting was scheduled, my former sister in law called. When I realized it was her, my heart stopped. She’s very kind to me, an ally of sorts within the family, but there is nothing she likes more than sharing drama. I appreciate the information, but when she calls I know it’s because she’s enjoying the delicious thrill of spreading bad news.
Sure enough, after a few pleasantries, she asked me to hang on for just a second. I could hear her turn to her husband and ask in a whisper if she could tell me. The answer must have been yes, because she came back to the phone and said casually, “So, you must be relieved that you won’t be running into him any more.”
“You don’t know?”
He’s in jail. That was my first thought. He’s in jail.
“No. What is it?”
“He moved.”
“He…where?” I choked. She was loving this.
“California. Somewhere near San Francisco.”
It seems his girlfriend has gotten a job there, and they left last week.
My reactions were shock…closely followed by rage.
So now I get to tell his sons he’s moved? How exactly should I do that? “Hey guys, remember your dad? Well, pretend you do. He lives in California now.”
Or how about the educational approach, “Do you know what’s in California? Let’s see, Disney Land…lots of smog…and your bastard of a father.”
No, probably not the best approach either.
If I don’t know what to do, I try not to do anything, so I just carried that fact around with me for a couple of days. The next day was Wednesday, when the meeting was supposed to be. I went, wondering if he’d arranged to call rather than appear in person, or if he’d hired a lawyer to represent him, or if he’d just blow the whole thing off.
I kept musing about how shocked I am when he does something like this move. I’m not a stupid person, so it seems by now I’d have figured out that this is who he is. May 4 will be the two year anniversary of his last visit with his children. Two years. This is not someone who’s Christmas wish list includes an “I am my kid’s dad” t-shirt. This is not someone with the capability of appreciating the gift his children are.
So why do I continue to be shocked?
As I drove I remembered a scene from when Tre was a baby. He woke up on day 10 of his new babyhood with weepy, gunky eyes. I didn’t know what was wrong with him, but I was pretty sure it was cancer caused by inept mothering. I took him to the doctor, and presented him to her with trembling hands. She barely glanced at him and diagnosed blocked tear ducts. “Keep ‘em clean. If they’re still like that at a year, we’ll open them up manually.”
Oh. Ok then.
I took Tre home and sat down on the couch to gaze into his goopy eyes. His dad was hovering over us, and I told him to go get me a clean washcloth. He nodded and disappeared. After what seemed like a long time he returned with one. “Here,” he said, “it’s a good, soft one.”
Later, as I was walking through the hall, I passed the linen closet. It seemed to have exploded. Towels were flung all around the hall and on the floor in front of the closet was every washcloth we owned. He’d unfolded and felt them all, searching for just the right one. I looked at the disarray and had to laugh. It was like the force of Dad had blown through there, leaving no cloth unturned in his hunt for just the right washcloth.
It’s him I miss. The man I knew, the man I loved. He was a good dad, with the sincere intent to give his sons the best.
The person he is now, this guy who hasn’t seen his kids in years – literally years – can damn well move to California.
When stuff like this happens it still takes my breath away. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that tiny glimmer of hope that he’ll get his act together. I want to be safe from the man he is, but part of me keeps looking for the man he was.
He hadn’t made arrangements for the meeting, so it was cancelled once it was clear he wasn’t coming. This was not a great shock to the good people down at the Child Support Enforcement Division of the district attorney’s office.
On my way out to my car I passed a little blue Honda. His girlfriend drives a little blue Honda, and without thinking I stopped and looked around for them. Then it hit me: I don’t have to do that any more. They’re gone.
I got in and started my car and on the radio some overwrought woman was singing, “How do I live without you? I want to know. How do I breathe without you?”
I smiled. Like this, I thought.
And I went home.

Cheater Blog

For any of you that were waiting to hear about the meeting with my ex that was supposed to happen today, it didn’t happen. He seems to have moved to California. I’m not ready to write about that yet, but I will in the next few days.
Instead, for tonight, a cheater blog. First of all my favorite cheating device, “things I have actually said to my kids recently.”

Sitting in the sink does not count as getting off the counter.
Get the cheese off your head.
Do not hang meat off your nose.
Take the paintbrush out of your ear, Raphael.
You too, Max.
Every single time you put your gum up your nose I will take it away.
What did I say I would do if you put your gum up your nose?
Don’t write on the table with your strawberry.

And finally, an update on Raphael and potty training. He’s doing beautifully, knock on wood. He actually stayed dry all night last night. The only real issue is one of timing. Whenever the urge to go strikes him, the first thing he does is pull down his pants. Then he waddles arduously off to the bathroom, chirping about how much he needs to go. I’ve tried suggesting he wait to pull down the pants until he gets there, but I’m rewarded for my sage advice with a withering look.
Ah well. I’m sure he’ll figure it out.

Growing up

Ok, I don’t want to jinx anything here, so everyone lean in close. I’m going to whisper something in your collective ear.
I think Raphael is potty trained.
No, really! He wears underpants all day and every so often grabs himself with that special urgency and chirps, “Ah gotta go p**!” Often he just hauls himself off to the potty with no discussion whatsoever, then moseys up to me and casually announces, “Ah did go p**.” Proud dismissive shrug. Swaggers away.
So now I’ve ushered three little boys through this process and still I have no idea how it actually happens. It’s like when they learn to tie their shoes. Magic.
Today I was waiting for Raphael to climb in his car seat and noticed a spare diaper sticking out of the pocket on the back of the seat. Oh, I thought, I don’t need that anymore.
I actually don’t. A change of clothes for Raphael, yes. That’s always a wise thing to keep around – at least for a while. But diapers? Nope.
For the first time in nearly nine years I don’t need to carry diapers.
The boys are moving away from me in a sense. I used to be entirely responsible for all their needs. Diapers are a good example of the very basic ness of the responsibility I took in their lives. Now Raphael takes care of his own bathroom needs, thankyouverymuch. That’s a step away from my caretaking, a step toward taking charge of his life.
Tre is, of course, leading that march. He’s so very old and mature that if I accidentally walk in on him when he’s changing clothes he claps his hands over his nether regions so fast I fear for my future grandchildren. Oh please, I think, I changed your diapers.
But that was then, and this is now. They’re all collecting their lives out of my hands, bit by bit. Today Raphael takes himself to the potty, tomorrow Max drives himself to school. It’s all a part of the same process.
I suppose that should bring a small tear to my eye. Perhaps it’s because there’s so much of the process still ahead of me. Perhaps it’s because I’m so tired of changing diapers. But it doesn’t seem sad. It seems…exciting.
March on, boys. I’ll just watch from here.

Clothes sort

This weekend all three boys went across the street to attend a birthday party. Tre and Max happily dove into the maelstrom of children racing throughout the house. Raphael got Sponge Bob painted on his hand, so he was walking around, pressing his Sponge Bob and announcing he just shot you with his laser. The mom in charge of the party suggested I could go home if I wanted, so I muttered a few things about being happy to stay…did she need any help…and then made a break for the door.
Once home I hauled out the boxes of spring/summer clothes for the big season change sort. Hate the big season change sort. Clothes stacked everywhere, and it always takes me two to four days to get everything out, sorted, and put away.
Ah, but that’s when I have “help” in the form of three little boys pawing through my piles of clothes. Not so this weekend. With a rerun of “While You Were Out” keeping me company, I was a sorting machine.
Clothes were efficiently assigned to the appropriately sized child. Clothes too worn or in need of mending were put in a bag to get rid of. Cold weather clothes were packed away for sorting in the fall. Everything in its sensible and proper place.
And then there were the tiny clothes. Too small for any boy in my house.
Oh, *sigh*.
I have one large Tupperware tub full of outgrown clothes. Mostly baby clothes, but there are a few other sizes – like the blue and red striped t-shirt that was Tre’s favorite when he was three. It’s pretty worn out, but Tre loved it and when I look at it I can see three year old Tre, with grubby knees and dimpled hands that would still hold mine in public.
That’s the criteria for what I save in my clothes archive box. It doesn’t matter what condition the clothes are in, if they’ve only been worn for one Christmas Eve service or if they’re threadbare from three boys’ worth of wear. If I pick up a shirt or a sleeper or a onesie and the texture of the cloth sparks a memory in my hands of guiding a wobbly baby arm through the sleeve, or pulling the neck opening down past a surprised pair of brown eyes that crinkle with delight to see me again – well then, that’s a keeper. If all three boys wore a certain outfit, then I can’t get rid of it. I hold it and smell it and look at the memories of all three of them, layered over one another. There’s one yellow onesie that is so tiny and soft. All three of them wore it during their first summer. When Tre wore it when it was new lemon yellow. By the time Raphael wore it it had faded to a pale butter, with the original bright yellow shade tracing the seams. When I hold it I can feel each boy as a fat little newborn. I can see the fuzzy cotton pull across their round bellies, and smell the milky sweet smell of their damp necks.
Now I know there’s no reason to save all these clothes. There’s no other baby to wear them, and most of them are too old and tattered to wear again anyhow. But that Tupperware tub holds scraps of the boys’ babyhoods. How exactly am I supposed to get rid of that? So back in the closet they go, and next fall I can pull them out again and touch them and smell them and remember.
Who needs closet space, after all?

Why I can't blog tonight

I’m sorry, everyone. I simply can’t think of anything to write about tonight. I’ve done everything I can think of to jog loose some sort of blog. I read all my favorite blogs. I followed links on their blogs to other blogs. Whoo, you can easily slip into odd territory there. Anyhow. I watched a Strong Bad short (this one’s still my favorite). I reread everyone’s comments from yesterday. I looked at the ceiling.
The dishwasher finished its cycle. The house was silent.
See, it’s not my fault. I’m far too downtrodden to blog tonight. It’s snowing. Yes, snowing. People kept telling me all day that the forecasters are predicting up to 20 inches of snow. 20 inches! I don’t listen to the forecasters or meteorologists or hateful rumor mongerers or whatever they like to be called. There’s this sick relationship between them and Denverites. It starts with the meteorologists. They take a haphazard glance at their Super Duper Doppler 98,000, notice a faint smudge and decide the sky is falling. That or the next biggest blizzard EVER is bearing down on Colorado. They race for their TV studios.
Stupid and also mean meteorologist: “By morning you can expect to see anywhere from four to a hundred bazillionty nine inches of snow. Particularly in this area [sweeping motion of hand that takes in most of the state], concentrated over any recently sprouted lettuce or flowering apple trees. No really. It may have fallen already. Have you looked?”
So once this “information” is out there, the people of Denver take it and set about the official city pastime – trying to scare others with weather news.
“Didja hear Mike Nelson? He said to expect a new ice age by morning. There’s actually a glacier poised right on the edge of LoDo. Yup. We’re all gonna die.”
After much frantic passing around of rumors of snow, once the city has worn itself out by shopping for bread and milk (WHY mostly bread and milk, I dunno. But apparently if snow hits your house and you don’t have it you can go directly to jail. I’m pretty sure.), we all fall into bed. Overnight the “great storm” usually passes, leaving the merest traces of snow, and life goes on.
So when people kept telling me about the great snow headed our way, I satisfied myself with glaring at them. As if, my look said. I’m not afraid of you. Also, you have something between your teeth. Mean, I know. But I don’t take kindly to weather fear mongering. I’m an activist.
But apparently they were…in some sense of the word…a little…right.
It’s snowing.
*deep sullen sigh*
All the trees are leafed out. If it really snows that much, branches will break. By three days from now the tender green spring scenery outside will be a sodden mass of dead leaves, limp, dull flower remains, and broken branches.
Besides which, I’m so sick of snow I could scream.
So you see, I couldn’t possibly blog tonight.

Some of the many things I can't explain

Ok, so apparently if you google “boob mouse mats” my former blog site is number ten in the returns. The questions that brings up are just so numerous. Not the least of which is what exactly are boob mouse mats? My life is so sheltered in many ways…
Today I asked Max to read me a book. He has a set of Bob books that are right on his level, as far as phonics skills go. He selected “Lad and the Fat Cat” – a rip-roaring tale if there ever was one. He clambered happily up into my lap, settled back, and started reading. In an English accent.
“Lahd hahd a faht, faht caht.” I looked at him. He smiled back.
“What does this say?” I pointed to the letter a.
“Aaa. Like apple.”
“Right. Good. Go on.”
“The caht is Kit.”
“Why are you talking like that?”
“Like what?”
I just can’t explain it.
Raphael likes to take one sock off. Recently he took his single discarded sock and filled it up with a handful of toys. A car from the train set, a few Duplo blocks, a toy car – stuff like that. Then he carried it around for a while. When I asked him what he had, he lifted it up so I could see it better.
“Iss mah Nemo.”
Nemo, just like the movie.
“Is it a fish?”
Deeply disdainful look.
“Noooo. Iss mah Nemo.”
Today he trotted up to me with one sock on, one sock held aloft. Something heavy and soft was in the toe.
“Hi honey,” I said, “whatcha got there?”
“Iss mah Nemo. Smew it.”
I looked at it suspiciously. What was that in the sock, exactly? I didn’t want to smell it. He pushed it at me. “Smew it!” I was worried now. Without being graphic, he is potty training at the moment. And I never know what he’ll do. I reached out one cautious finger and poked the Nemo.
Sand. It was full of sand. Relieved, I leaned forward and sniffed it.
“EWWWW!” Raphael hollered, “Yoo smew it!” He ran off, unimpressed by my feeble admonition that “sand stays in the sandbox!”
Finally, according to Fox news, Blender magazine has named “We Built This City” by Starship NUMBER ONE on their list of the 50 worst songs of all time. Now, why they gotta go and do that? All day I’ve been singing, “We built this city! We built this city! We built this city on rock…and…roll!” After that the lyrics become fuzzy and I end up humming, “Sumpthin’, sumpthin’, sumpthin! Underneath the sumpthin’!” My lack of solid recall doesn’t stop me from occasionally bursting out with an enthusiastic chorus of, “WE BUILT THIS CITY!”
This often startles the boys, making them jump, then turn and give me annoyed looks. I smile and tell them not to worry. You can’t always explain things.

Costco Fun!

Tonight after dinner Mom and I took the boys along for a shopping trip to Costco.
Oh, pardon that. It fades within a few hours of returning home. I’ll be fine.
Anyhow, I pointed out to Mom how fortunate we were to have the boys along. Most people just shop in ginormous stores like Costco. “But these guys make it an adventure,” I told her.
“What?” she replied. It was hard to hear over Raphael, who was sitting in the child seat and kicking his boots hard against the cart.
“The boys,” I repeated myself, “they make this a – MAX! Get down from there!” Max was quietly scaling the side of the shelf. He gave me a look as if to say, well why did they put all these bars here if I’m not supposed to climb? With a shrug he let go and dropped to the floor, nearly giving the nice lady perusing 17 gallon jars of pickles a heart attack. I turned back to Mom, but before I could speak Tre came barreling down the aisle, then dropped to his knees and slid between us before crashing into the wall. I went over to him to see if he was alright, but he seemed to be laughing.
“Why did you do that?”
“It’s fun! Watch, I’ll do it again.”
As we made our way through the aisles my sons bounced and balanced and ducked and hid and laughed and sang. We got our shopping done in a record time of four hundred years (I’m pretty sure that’s how long it took…not bad, huh?), and safely got all our purchases and children home.
Now, who do you know that has that much fun at a discount warehouse? I’m a lucky, lucky woman.

Not fair

Last week Lileks wrote about an argument being bandied about these days, that both a mother and a father aren’t necessary. He had heard an anthropologist on the Dennis Prager show who claimed that the belief that a mom and dad family was in any way better than a mom and mom or dad and dad family was based on “superstition.” Read Lileks, he had much to say about that. And it was said beautifully, as usual. Here are my thoughts on that statement.
Today I was sitting at the table with Raphael. He was playing with dominoes; I was cutting out coupons (because yes, I’m just that domestic). In the companionable silence Raphael piped up, “Ah’m so glad yoo my mama.” This is one of his favorite phrases these days, and far preferable to his other favorite, “FIRE! FIRE! HEY GUYS! FIRE!” He likes to belt that out so loud that ears bleed, window shatter, and birds fall out of the sky.
Anyhow, I smiled at him and gave him my standard reply, “And I’m so glad you’re my Raphael.” He nodded and went back to the dominoes. He picked one up and started bouncing it among the crowd of dominoes on the table. “Daddy?” he whispered, “Daddy? Are yoo here?” He picked up another domino and held it facing the first. “Ah’m yoo daddy.” Little boy domino said, “Hi, Daddy.”
“Hi,” answered Daddy domino.
“What yoo doing?”
“Ah not doin’ anysing.”
“Ah’m so glad yoo my daddy.”
“Ah’m so glad yoo my Raphayll.”
I watched him act this out. Raphael should have no reason to long for a daddy. He has three loving adults in his house. We adore him. His brothers adore him. His grandpa (Appa) flies him around the house like Superman. His life is full of love and action and everything a child could need.
Tre and Max knew their dad. The remember how it felt to walk in front of him and have him reach down and palm their heads in a loving, protective gesture. They wrestled with him, a flurry of arms and legs. It must have felt like being in the middle of a tornado, and they knew they were hopelessly overpowered. But they laughed and threw themselves back into the fray again and again, because as powerful as he was, they knew they were safe. They have something to remember, something to miss.
The only time I can think of Raphael being with his dad was when he was about six weeks old. Raphi was lying on the floor, in that charming fencer’s pose newborns have. On his back, head to the side. One fist in front of him, waving before astounded eyes. The other fist behind him, at the back of his head. His dad laid down on the floor next to him. Not in front of him, but perpendicular and head to head. He wasn’t looking anyone in the eyes at that time. Raphi’s fist somehow brushed his dad’s hair and he grabbed it. His tiny fist tangled itself in that glossy black bristly hair, gripped tightly, and he pulled. His dad laughed and cried, “Oww!” And Raphael pulled. Tre and Max watched and laughed and soon they were all belly laughing together. Their dad had tears in his eyes from laughing so hard, and because Raphael was really pulling.
But before Raphael was old enough to sit up alone his dad had moved out. And in the six months before he checked out completely he saw the boys for a total of 11.5 hours. I kept track in little scribbled notes on the calendar. Raphael wasn’t even there for all those hours, since he was a nursing infant.
So what did he ever get from his dad that he could miss? What could possibly be lacking in his life now?
If children were logical beings, if hearts made any sense, there would be no reason for him to look for his dad. Some may say he’s absorbed the societal expectation of a father from books, TV, movies, things like that. But he’s seen many wonderful things in stories that he doesn’t wish for. He loves to watch Jay Jay the Jet Plane, but he never asks where his plane is. He knows sisters exist, but he doesn’t think he should have one. But a dad. He knows there should be a dad. Since he was 18 months old he’s been occasionally peering around corners and calling out. “Daddy?”
“Ah can’t found Daddy.”
He knows there should be a dad.
When I think about my ex I wish he were dead. Ahem. Should he turn up murdered, let me insert this disclaimer: I would never hurt him. I couldn’t. I don’t wish him harm, a statement that may seem odd coming from someone who just admitted she wishes him dead. It’s not that I want him to hurt or even actually die. I just want to know he’s safely out of our lives. I feel the spectre of him hanging over us, and I want to tell him, “Go away. Leave us alone. I’ve put this family back together without you, thank you very much. Don’t tear us apart again.”
I’m not even the same woman he knew. He knew the woman who loved him. Although I’ll always love him -in a sense - I’m now the woman who’s survived him. If I want anything from him, I want to be safe from him.
But the boys.
I looked at Raphael today, quietly playing out a part of the landscape of his heart. If their dad got his act together and wanted back into their world, I’d have to let him. I’d have to encourage it. I’d have to work to recreate the bond he shattered.
If he was healthy enough to try I’d have to swallow my rage and terror and hand my sons over to him.
That’s not fair.
But neither is it fair that Raphael doesn’t get to look in his dad’s eyes, eyes that are so much like his own, and hear him say, “I’m so glad you’re my Raphael.”

Color Guard Command

Tre had a pack meeting tonight. Ok, just to make sure we all understand the ins and outs of Cub Scout cult jargon, pack meetings are the large meetings of all the individual dens. Next week Tre will have a den meeting with his nine other den members, tonight there were about a hundred Cub Scouts. It was pretty exciting stuff, because not only did Tre get his Bear badge (and one gold arrow point and three silver arrow points, thankyouverymuch), but his den was sponsoring the meeting. This meant they were the Color Guard, the people who march up front with the flags and set them in place and lead the meeting in the pledge of allegiance. Tre’s job was to give the flag ceremony commands. He stood up there at the front of the room, shoulders back, chest out. “Please stand for the presentation of the Colors.” And the whole room rose. “Cub Scouts, Salute.” Hands flew into position. “Color Guard, advance.” And they marched forward with the flags.
It was amazing. He stood up there and ordered that whole roomful of scouts around like he did it every day. He seemed so very grown up, calling out commands in a steady voice.
After the Posting of the Colors, the badges were handed out, and then they moved into the entertainment for the evening. Tonight we were treated to a martial arts exhibition, followed by some small group training on a few moves. I sat on the side, chatting with some other moms until it was over. Tre was back up at the front, giving the orders to retire the Colors. When he concluded with, “Color Guard, dismissed,” the whole meeting broke up and he ran over to me.
“Honey, you did such a good job!” I gushed. He shrugged.
“I know. Hey, when we were doing the martial arts stuff; I got hit in the eye.” He pointed to his right eye, which was looking a little red and puffy.
“Oh no! Are you alright?” I reached for him, only to be rewarded with stern look. He ducked his head out from under my hand.
“It’s fine, Mom.”
“Well, we can put some ice on it when we get home.”
He shook his head.
“Nah, I don’t need any ice. I kinda hope I get a black eye.”
Such a boy.

Over at Heather’s blog I found a quiz I loved. What Narnia book are you? Mom has read the first six books to Tre and is just about to read The Last Battle to him, so he and I both took the quiz. Tre is:

The sixth book in the series, you're the first one with none of the original Pevensie children. Eustace, Jill and Puddleglum manage to mess up pretty much everything about their mission to rescue Prince Rilian, but they do get to visit the Underworld and rescue him in the end.

Find out which Chronicles of Narnia book you are.

And I am:

The final book of Narnia, you're a sometimes disturbing story about the end of the world and the beginning of a new one. Your characters include an evil monkey, a misguided donkey, stubborn dwarves and all the human characters from the previous books. You manage to be heartbreaking and beautiful at once.

Find out which Chronicles of Narnia book you are.

The Next One

First of all I have to confess that, having claimed to be a Grammar God (and I did SO spell it right, John), I’m wracked with insecurity about actually writing anything here. I mean, here I am, on a pedestal now…all of you looking up to me…wishing to be as grammatically sound…
You’re not?
No one cares about my grammar prowess?
Huh. Weird. I guess the pressure’s off, then.
Darn it, I started this an hour ago. I keep getting up and going upstairs to check on Tre. He’s sick – not all that sick, but not feeling great. For the past three days or so he wakes up in the morning feeling alright, and then steadily declines until by bedtime he’s miserable. A cold-like thing. No fever, nothing dramatic, but he’s just…punky. Not himself.
I can’t help it when my kids are sick. I revert to nervous mother. I remember this episode of the Rosanne show, where a tidy mother was fussing at Rosanne about something their sons had gotten into. Rosanne looked at this woman and said, “I bet you still go in his room at night to check if he’s breathing, don’t cha?” The woman raised her chin a bit and said, “Yes. As a matter of fact, I do.” To which Rosanne snorted, “Amateur.”
Well, that’s me. I confess, after all these years I’m still an amateur. I usually have a certain confidence about me as a mother. I know my boys, of that I’m sure. But when they’re sick, I falter. There’s just too much there out of my control. Tonight I keep tiptoeing into Tre’s room, listening to him breathe. He seems to have developed a cough, so now I’m on alert for sounds of wheezing. As though I could do anything about it tonight.
I remember doing this the first time each boy slept in his own room as a baby, when the day finally came that they left the bassinet and graduated to their own crib. (I’m a total liar, by the way. They never slept in that stupid bassinet. I brought them in bed with me. The only thing that changed along the way is I felt less guilty about it with each subsequent child.) Anyhow, that first night my baby was in his own room I would slip out of bed and creep to the next room. I’d sit on the floor and silently watch his chest rise and fall. My husband came to look for me that first night I sneaked over to Tre’s side when he was a baby. He stood in the doorway, watching me for a moment, then whispered, “What are you looking at?”
Keeping my eyes on my son I whispered back, “I’m watching for a certain breath. The most important one.” He sat next to me, took me by the hand, and watched with me for a while.
Now here’s Tre, nearly nine years old. He’s a boy, solid and energetic. Probably out of the woods as far as SIDS. Yet as primal as ever I find myself sitting on the floor, watching him breathe. Because you know what the most important breath is, right?
The next one. Always the next one.