You think more about the blinds.
You squint and watch him to do the same and wonder
if he understands how action follows instinct.
Will he shift a fraction of an inch into the shade
or will he just blink and cry?
If asleep, will he wake?
Is he hot?
Just how fragile is he?
You don't remember not knowing what to do about the sun.
You think more about bottle caps and wires.
That tiny, muted tink of metal on wood echoes in your head,
the world suddenly gone slow motion, as you whip towards the sound,
leaping from the sofa to snatch it up before he ages several months,
learns to crawl, and happens upon what looks for all intents and purposes
to be some new and fascinating candy tucked in a nest of extension cords
that demands immediate oral research.
Then you’re there in the back of the ambulance,
clutching that ridiculous pastel blanket as though human life
can be bound by your pathetic preferences..
You don’t remember not knowing what is and isn’t food.
You think a bit more about money,
how necessary it seems, and whether or not it really is.
Where are lines drawn between need and want and privilege and childhood?
How much more and how will that happen?
What is required and what does that mean?
Just how old is too old to lose oneself in the dream of not doing
what needs to be done?
And there’s that question of need again.
He’s so vulnerable to everything. How much does it cost
to keep everything away? And if I knew the price, would it matter?
So much of life is found in figuring out what you do and don’t need.
You don’t remember ever needing so much.
You think more about history and of the future,
what people have done and will be.
How does he maintain optimism when you tell him how hard it will be tested?
How do you prove the value of decency when its currency appears suspect?
How do you instill pride in a world built on the actions of terrible people?
How do you explain hardship for him may still seem relatively easy to others?
What do you say when he asks why it had to happen and why we didn’t do more?
You want him to believe he can do what he wants.
You want him to understand struggle.
You want to teach him the boundaries of selfishness and altruism, but you honestly can't say you know what they are.
You don't remember not knowing how complicated life becomes.
You think more about bones and vision and milestones and screens
and thoughts and focus and time.
You don’t remember not being a part of the world.
You can’t remember the world without thinking of him.