My sweet boy’s chubby little hand, sticky from sweat and sugary snacks, curls into mine and we walk together, sharing stories of our day. He learned a new ninja move. I sold a house. We giggle, and make silly faces at one another. ”Do star fish, mamma! Yeah! Do it! Do it!” I lean over, pretend that I’m going to move the hair out of his eyes and instead cover his entire face with my open palm and gleefully yell, “Star Fish!!!” We melt into a pile of laughter.
Yesterday he graduated from his private kindergarten class, set free into the world of public school, with its mass produced lunches and hallways that smell faintly of disinfectant and puke. Together, with his ragtag peers, my precious little boy sang a somber rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. When the last note died, they filed to the center of the room, one by one announcing their hopes and dreams for the future. The fireman? Well, he’s going to be a Ninja in Tokyo when he grows up. The ceremony ends with certificates and leis- the Portland version of caps and gowns- and one last ode to the rainy weather that never once stopped them from playing outside. As a group, one last time, they brought their voices together to will the rain away.
You are my sunshine… my only sunshine…. you make me happy… when skies are grey….
I cry. This is our song. The song that I sang when he first came into the world, while I rocked him in the NICU, with the beeps of electronic monitors and the sighs of oxygen machines accompanying our lullaby. The song that I softly whisper when he’s having a bad dream. The song that I hum while I kiss his tears away. Our song.
“Mamma. I will never ever leave you.”
“I know that baby. I will never leave you either!”
“Yes, doodle bug?”