Trying to describe him now defies my ability to avoid cliches: every time I take the minute to look at him, really look at him, I'm stunned by the fact that he's six. That he is my first baby, and now he is this lanky boy, all gestures and adverbs, storm and sunshine, drama and antics.
He came into my room this afternoon in his looking for socks and his little knobby needs just about made me melt: the way they tilt in toward's each other just a little; the way one knee has a scab from when he fell off his bike last week. His hair was damp from playing outdoors in the rain, his eyes huge as always seemed to fill up his whole face.
It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't have children what it's like to fall in love with your child over and over again, even when they annoy the crap out of you, as Bean routinely does. He's pushy and edgy and impatient; he's convinced he's at the very center of everyone's world; he has a hundred questions nearly ever minute; he is inordinately invested in being right. Yet every single day when I see him after I've been gone his presence fills me with a brightness.
He wraps his thin arms around my waist: "let's play alligator, Mama!" he begs.
Alligator, like almost every other game he invents, means tussling and wrestling on the floor.
And though I'm often preoccupied when I arrive, I oblige, wrapping my arms around his wriggling little torso, chomping the air with enormous imaginary teeth. And just like that, I'm in it. In this moment, in this love.