People watch him, agape, as he flies past in a blur. It’s been this way all afternoon, the joie de vivre. Is he always this way? they say. He hasn’t even had any cake yet.
Unless he’s agro-energetic, which is rare, I let him run. Especially now. No harm beyond spectacle, beyond a few stiff-upper-lippers wondering when on earth I’m going to yank back on the leash.
But no, not today. Run boy run, all clammy scruff and foodie fingers. Burst up and down and hurl yourself at least once into every lap, begging MO MEAT PWEEEZE! and imping handfuls off of O.P.P. (other people’s plates) and batting eyelashes and, at the pinnacle of exasperation, saying I WUB YOU! and galumphing away, shoes on the wrong feet, and tripping spectacularly, landing in a tangle of limbs and giggles.
Having lost one son, the others will not be unhinged as though enough free rein for three has been dispersed among two.
But to see Evan so full of relentless charm, panting with exuberance… it’s like watching a horse you’ve got money on. I’m on my feet in the stands yelling Go! Go! Go! and as long as no harm is done and manners are loosely interpreted as best as a two-year-old can, I am his mama, mindful of more revelling and less propriety.
People watch him, agape, as he murmurs on my chest curled up like a kitten. It’s been this way all afternoon: he nurses, he stretches, he farts, he sleeps. Is he always this way? they say. So small, so still.
Not for long, I think to myself, smiling. Not for long.