it’s these moments

Elephant nestles in next to me, that ‘just showered’ smell lingering throughout his room.

Excuse me

he says after gulping down the rest of the water

It is in these moments, before sleep, making sense of a busy day, when his train of thought steams up and sets forth from the station

Papa

did you know that in some countries, I can’t remember which ones

burping is a sign that you liked the meal. That it was good. In some places it’s a sign of appreciation.

Uh huh.

I respond, looking him in the eye.

The train gathers speed and continues down the track. Next stop, mastication station.

What happens to gum when you swallow it? Is it okay to swallow it?

Gum is hard to break when you’re chewing it. It’s easier to break when it’s new. You just break it off. Clunk, like that.

<pause>

He rolls over and faces me. Extends his finger, starting just beside my ear, tracing a gentle arc down my chin, below my mouth, and up the other side.

Papa, this is your beard line.

He extends both hands, rubbing them on my cheeks, a smile appears on his face. Continues up, peeking at the peak.

And it goes up to your hair line! You’re bald!

He says with a giggle, this revelation seemingly fresh, novel, despite telling us something we both already know.

A moment of connection, on a day of disconnect. Rare on today, a day of impatience, overload, too many thoughts and not enough time.

And I’m grateful I took a moment to catch his train

Published by Radutti

Teaching in Ha Noi, screwing things up daily but surviving to write about it. ...everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

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2 Comments

  1. Your slice reminds me of my sons and their nightly request to ‘trace their face’. They want to lie with their head in my lap and have me trace their chin line, nose, mouth, and eyes. Just as you said – a few moments of connection at the end of a hectic day.
    Only the youngest still asks for this. Enjoy it while you can!

    Like

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