Now Revie picks up pine cones.
Smiles, sniffs them, runs his small fingers over the smooth scales, the rough layers.
Holds them up to the sky, like treasures,
and throws them down, with gusto, as the strong winds do when they blow through the pines.
Rocks catch his eyes. Tiny pebbles, large stones. Gray, pink, and black. He lifts them with his tiny arms, clutches them in his surprisingly strong hands. “No, no.” I gesture, “don’t put that in your mouth.” He smiles and laughs, throws the rocks down, delights in the way they kick up small puffs of dust, the way they clatter.
He climbs. Without help. Without Mama’s hands, Daddy’s arms. He can pull himself up; steps, slides, over fallen logs and up onto large, flat boulders. He’s so proud of himself, I grin, even though it means he’s getting bigger, growing up, becoming brave, independent. Becoming himself.
Sometimes, he holds my face in his little hands, when we’re watching birds and squirrels out the window, or cuddling and nursing, laying on the bed. And he gives me the sweetest kiss. All the love of the universe, right there in those tiny little lips.
And once in a while, when he’s sleeping, when I look at him just right, I get a glimpse of him grown-up, the set of his jaw, the slope of his chin.
And then the light changes, and he’s all soft baby again, milky breath and delicate eyelids, moving lightly in sleep.
And I move closer, bury my nose in his soft baby curls and
Thank you for listening,