When someone asks Tuck how old he is, he uses his left hand to press down two fingers on his right, holds up the remainders and says "free."

That answer says so much about this age.  Footloose.  Spirited.  As a bird.

I looked at him this morning, at the way the breakfast sunlight caught in his lashes, and felt an urge to stash all the details I could about this stage.  The way his summer skin is 'brown as a butterbean', as Grandma Jan says.  The way mosquito bites cover his body, because with all the recent rain it seems as though when we kill one, ten come to its funeral.  The way truth has a habit of falling out of his mouth and the way he tells me everything he thinks and feels, the same everythings over and over again.  The way he says wow like he means it, turning it into three syllables, wee-ow-wah.  The way he pulls strings I didn’t know I had.

The way he pushes buttons I didn't know I had.

The way he climbs the hill I ask him not to climb. The way he sighs the sigh of a thousand years of irritation when I tell him it's time for a nap. The way he turns the television back on after I've turned it off, sneaks more milk from the fridge after I've said he's had enough. Although I’m sometimes met with defiance and contempt and often with dramatics, when I remind him that he is being disobedient, when he senses my disappointment, he is remorseful.
His liberty is less an assertion of power, I think, and more an opportunityDespite it, or perhaps because of it, free is turning out to be pretty fun, highly comical and mostly amazing.  And I just want to remember it all.

As an aside: I've directed our readers to Amy Parrish Photography (her portrait business has recently been renamed Atelier) before, and don't intend to stop any time soon. Over the weekend she photographed one of my former fifth graders, and I just can't get over how beautiful this soon-to-be senior is. Nor can I get over how generous Amy continues to be, to our family, and to others.

1 comment:

rht said...

We are "free" tomorrow evening and looking forward to some Tucker time!