I have to go into the school to pick up my son. It’s kind of a hassle, but that’s the way it works at that-thar school. So I oblige without complaint.
Every day, Henry greets me with that winning dimpled, still-toothless smile. He was late losing his teeth and lost all the teeth he should have lost beginning at about five or six, the six months after turning eight. They are finally starting to fill in, and he can eat somewhat normally. But I digress.
Henry and I talk on the route out of the school. He always tells me his day was terrible, all with a joyful bounce in his step. He shares with me chatty tidbits about the day. Things I might find shocking in his eyes. (Someone got a blue on the behavior chart, etc.) When we emerge from the building, in just three or four short steps, we are directly in the parking lot. And, without fail, my boy gently glides his fingers into my hand. I don’t reach for him or expect him to. After all, he likes to remind me, he’s almost nine.
And every time, my heart skips a beat. I recognize all too well that these moments are fleeting. Someday, he won’t reach for my hand. He won’t need to (or, dare I say, want to). I may not even notice on that day. (Truthfully, I hope I don’t.) But now I do notice, and consider each time a blessing and a bonus.
Count those blessings!