He’s so quiet, with his brown Carhartt hood shading his face and his heavy backpack slung over one shoulder. He’s so quick. His ten-year-old eyes seek mine for this tiny flash of a silver minnow moment through the open sliding van door. He’s already pressed the button and it’s closing, shutting the space between us. His more gregarious, demonstrative sister and brothers have run from me, backpacks and shoelaces flapping in the breeze of their sprint to independence.
He wants this moment of connection. This briefest of coming ins.
“I love you,” I mouth at him in the gap between the passenger headrest and the door frame.
A half smile. “I love you.” He mouths it back. The door closes. He’s gone.
It’s easy to miss. It’s easy to forget. If (who am I kidding), WHEN I’m frazzled, or irritated, or distracted.
The absence sits, missed, heavy in my stomach, uncomfortable for the day.