Your lip turned down and you began to cry


10, yet today you were my baby boy. Your voice rang like it does in our home movies, and as long as I wasn’t looking at you, you were 4 years old, without a care in the world.

Your voice is believable as a little boy’s, but your face seldom trips me up… that familiar face. So familiar in fact, that it’s expressions reflect my moods, my tones, my own temper, and straighten me out when I’m being unfair. Today though, you were beyond repair and needed “mommy” as you haven’t needed me in years. Years.

Boy with a cello by Betsy Agar

You were at your whit’s end, you started to cry and your bottom lip actually curled into a pout that Hallmark and photographers see with a green glint in their eyes. A baby’s pout so genuine, so unbridled, so compelling, that I time-travelled to that moment after your hernia surgery, that moment after you burned your hand, that moment after you broke your leg, that moment every mother wickedly longs for, when only “mommy” can make it better.

At 10, it was a heavenly vision that I am intently burning into my memory because I am certain it won’t happen again, or if it does, it will be as fleeting as it was today, and I could miss it.

Pre, pre-teen, you are reaching a precipice and I wonder, is this the last year you will:

practice magic tricks

curl up in my lap

relish in the role of being man of the house when daddy’s away, and help me, really help me with the day-to-day

run for no reason

laugh at my jokes

befriend girls

race to explore new playgrounds

hunt for treasure

want me to read to you

squeal when daddy arrives home from work

make up games to coax your sister along

enjoy daycamp

pretend to be sleeping so I’ll carry you in from the car

smile at the sight of others smiling, and frown when they are sad

build forts in the living room or in a tree or anywhere else you can find

beg me to snuggle at bedtime and ask to hear stories about when I was your age

ask permission to watch tv

watch Treehouse or play games on, not because you would choose it, but because it is already on and you like it

boast about loving school and proudly recognize improvements you’ve made

stand shorter than I do

pout your lip and come to me when the world is just too much for you

Is this the last year?

Live within limits without limiting life

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About ahemmayispeak

Environmentalist Egalitarian Engineer Writer There, I finally said it. View all posts by ahemmayispeak

2 responses to “Your lip turned down and you began to cry

  • Louise

    Oh god, I watched my 10 year old run across our backyard tonight while playing tag with her siblings and I wondered who the young lady with the child’s delight could be? Mine? How is it possible? You filled my eyes with tears and my heart with pangs. Love you.

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