Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chubby fingers and long legs

Tonight you chuckled as you plopped -- wet from the tub -- into my lap, pretending to shiver so I would wrap you tightly in your bright pink towel and hug you until your damp hair soaked my shoulder. I spoke quietly in your ear, using an intimate voice because we were so close, and you told me fantastic ideas I only half-heard through the breathless squeezing of love that sometimes overtakes me. You took the nail clippers from me, arguing that you should trim your own nails; I allowed it reluctantly, suddenly protective of your not-so-tiny-anymore hands, grimacing as you nearly cut yourself (not unlike what I did several years ago, though the scar is on my heart instead of your hand). As you concentrated, I marveled at the perfection of your chubby fingers, so smooth and ever more proportionate, the nails traced with crimson from a lacquer swiped off as quickly as you apply it. You still haven't learned the particular leverage of a nail clipper, so I finally took control again, wishing we had more time but aware of the clock marking bedtime. When I finished you swirled away, the towel a royal cloack soon replaced by mis-matched pajamas, and I called your brother, assembly-line style, to the bathroom to bathe.

And you, you came upstairs talking ceaselessly about your game, so intent that my listening was inconsequential. You kept turning to the wrong room out of distraction, and I tugged you back with verbal nudges and gentle pushes until you had stripped, baring long muscles and a smooth belly; you mesmerize me with your unconscious Greek perfection. I had, again, to remind you to remove your dirty socks -- you kept talking all the while until you settled into the hot water and slowed, waiting for me to wash your hair, to a pace I could match. After rinsing I stepped out, trying to respect your privacy but relishing the openness of your innocence. Later, when I returned with a towel you rushed to me and I sat, wrapping you in a hug and expecting a cuddle like so many times before, but you threw your head back and laughed with your jack-o-lantern smile and exclaimed "I tooted!" before wriggling away to put on jammies and begin another story about your game. I perched on the edge of the tub wondering where my sweet boy had gone, knowing full well that you never did sit for long. Finally you slowed again, long enough for a quick kiss and an awkward hug before climbing into your loft where I could faintly hear you telling your stuffed friends the same things that had washed over me minutes before.

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