Behind sandy hair and an aw-shucks smile, Tucker's mind must be spinning. He moves his hands in an open accordion, a gesture that encompasses the enormity of his thoughts. Or the size of the insect he's describing. He has LOTS of big thoughts, and even more critter descriptions. So many that I struggle to really listen, to hear all the things that are so important to him right now. I let him down a thousand different ways. Every day.
We frown question marks at each other and I get a glimpse of his teenage years. He sticks out his tongue, tells me I'm not a good friend. He works so hard to ignore me that he has to stand right in front of me to do it. I whirl from computer to cooktop to washing machine to spill and wind up ignoring him. He asked me to carry him to bed this evening, from the basement to the second floor. He frogged his legs around my waist, his head resting in the hollow of my collar bone, one arm draped over my shoulder. I paid attention, melted into his affection. Folding my hands behind his back I resolved to let him down less often.