Tonight I saw my little boy fading away in a stolen moment. I see the pride in each of his accomplishments close a chapter of innocence in the steps to becoming a man…or is it the loss of need, his need for me, his ‘Dada’, that saddens my heart. If I could stop the clocks…
I held the cardboard guitar as he pulled a long elastic tight and fed it over the bridge then down through one of the holes he drilled, looped it round the paperclip on the opposite side and tied a double knot with his little fingers while I watched.
“Do you need help?”, escapes but really I am asking ‘don’t you need my help’.
“You can do one”, he says with a smile and my awkward fingers pull too tight snapping the end off the next elastic string trying to prove that I must be there to pull them tight. Six strings later…I know. He doesn’t need me.
A day earlier I danced and spun circles with my little girl on the shaggy coffee-tableless rug in the living room. “Again Dada, again…” Round and around, back the other way, and falling to the floor laughing before we stopped for a drink of water.
I see him in her eyes and pick him up off the couch, and swing him too, and laugh and hold him close and kiss him goodnight…and no, I don’t ever want to say, ‘while I still can’.