Creativity, Happy Days, Parenting

Happy 100 Days: 21

My son is standing at the kitchen counter with a handful of permanent markers and  a stack of recycled paper. The brush in my hands works its way through his golden hair. The tangle in the back tightens like the fist of Christmas lights we threw into the corner after 30 minutes of trying. The smell of spruce clings to the morning.
Bug continues on a picture of a golf ball factory he began last night. His running commentary distracts us both from the small knots yanking at his scalp. “This bin is for one color, and this one for blue. They get sorted into the right boxes, and here is where they go if the wrong color is in the box. Ow!
“I’m sorry, baby. I’ll go slow.”
He fills the page with tiny circles, long funnels, and snaking tubes. He writes the words “picker” and “golf ball tools.”
When we were decorating, I managed to pick apart one fist of lights and unfurl a string to adorn the tree. When I finished, I hooted and cheered. “Perseverance pays off!” I hoped this would make us all forget about me tossing the other strand aside and declaring it hopeless.
Bug leans close to make a thin line on the edge of the page. My hands follow his arc. I separate the twisted locks at the base of his skull one snarl at a time.  The brush barely moves yet its work is relentless.
“I am going to be an engineer,” he tells me. “Not the train kind. The building kind.”
“Yes, you will, baby. You can build anything you see inside your mind.”
“I know, Mom,” he says.
Good. I lean in and kiss him on the damp head. He barely registers me. He is too focused on crafting his vision one perfect circle at a time. Let’s keep it that way.

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