The Opportunist

I remember holding Ian with one arm. He rested lengthwise, head nestled in the crook of my arm. If he wanted to sleep, he turned his face toward my chest. Otherwise he looked away, carried by his weary palanquin, Master to my Blaster.

And I’d sway, pat, sway, pat. Left. Right. Left.

Ian had a cold—again—while Grandpa visited this weekend. At breakfast on Saturday morning, Ian stuffed a banana-smile into his mouth, ate a few bites of pancake, and crawled into my lap.

Strange decision. Grammie’s is the lap of choice when he’s scared or sad or sick, with Mommy a close second. Of course, I don’t complain.

He draped his arms over my shoulders, and slid slowly down, back, down, until his head caught in my elbow. His arms hung, limp, at his sides; his feet went far past my wrists and fingers, off the edge of my lap. He’s grown, length and otherwise. Yesterday we saw a woman holding a python at Grant’s Farm. It was dead weight, resting on her arms and back, sliding downward, so she’d constantly hitch and adjust.

He tried to blink, and nearly made it. He was closer with his smile. I lifted his head to my lips, and we swayed. Left. Right. Left. I hummed into his hair: If I didn’t care / more than words can say / If I didn’t care / would I feel this way…

Ian likes tenderizing me with his fists or hugging me with his forehead. He tackles me from behind and swings his arms in wide, hand-flailing arcs. It’s how we bond, and I don’t see the trend changing any time soon. How much longer will he let me kiss him, or hold his hand, or make him ‘pay the toll’ of a kiss on each cheek?

How long can a cold last?

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