Just last night, I was holding Elliot in Ms. Georgia's pool, and noticed I had cupped both my hands underneath his head, and was holding him out from my body, just like you'd hold a little baby when you'd want to look deeply into their eyes. Staring back at me was a little boy, with 20 teeth in a wide, happy smile, a fresh haircut plastered with pool water, and laughing eyes. He only let me hold him like that for a brief moment before he said, "Mama. Let me go. I want to swim. Mama, let me go." I wonder if, all his life, he will be asking me to let him go.
Yesterday, Elliot stood on the deck of the same pool, and put his head down on the side...I thought for a moment he was going to do a dive. Instead, he let himself roll forward into a tumble. He had done a tumble set into the pool. Ana shook her head in amazement. "How did he do that?"
The night before his birthday, we came home from another night of swimming, and passed out in a heap on our bed. At 2:30 in the morning, Elliot woke up and seemed uncomfortable. After 30 minutes, we discovered that his back and buttocks were covered with hives. These returned an hour before his birthday dinner the next day. My mind has been swirling with a sense of impending doom. I have heard too many stories of late-onset nightmares...You, you party hard, and ask for your presents.
Elliot returned to the pet store with Kevin to get some other necessities for his birthday turtles, whom he's named Ang and Kitara. He reaches into a pond, pulls out a large turtle who bites him on the chest. He's afraid and hurt. He returns home and gets cleaned up. 10 minutes later, he's asking to hold his turtles.
On Sunday, we are going on a bike ride. You seems tired and sluggish, and can't get too far. Ana has zipped forward, and is looking for locusts in Ms. Nancy's crepe mrytle. We get stuck several houses down. The neighbors come out with their dog, and the owner proceeds to play fetch with a soppy ball. Within minutes, you are in charge, whipping the ball out, laughing gleefully as it's returned to you. Oliver gets off my bike, wanting a slice of the action. You engage the neighbor, and then her husband, and then their friend in several conversations. Mr. Kyle drives past and you begin asking him about his new car. A few minutes later, the neighbors ask if we'd like a big bag of shrimp. That a friend gave them 60 pounds. I motion Ana to come back to us, and we begin the trek home with our bag of enormous, dripping shrimp. We only make it about two houses. You are really struggling on your bike. A second later, the neighbor comes by in her fancy dog grooming van, and asks if she can give your bike a lift home. You cry as she puts it in the the van, and she offers you a lift too. You climb into the passenger seat, grinning from ear-to-ear, and begin your 20 questions about her amazing ride.
Last night, as you went to sleep next to me, you gently played with my earring. Your body seemed long, as you stretched out in the bed, your lids kissing your sweet cheek. Where has the time gone, my love?