On a clammy and cold day, when the wind blows and the rain insists on falling, I open my phone and look at him. Immediate warmth.
When I am bored to tears, and when the only things I can think of doing involve way too much exertion, I open my phone and scroll through photos of him. Immediate fulfillment.
Sometimes I open my mouth and just ram my foot into it. When that happens, I look at videos of him zooming around the house, blowing bubbles and saying his name, not terribly clearly, but more clearly every time. Then I feel better about myself.
I read the news. Things are so depressing. I wonder if this world will ever improve. Our generation has certainly failed. But I think about his small grin and how smart he is, and I remember that his generation is coming right up—and I have utmost confidence in him. His cohort will make things better.
Sometimes, if things are a little backed up in a waiting room, I will pull up a shot of him on his scooter. I can look at that one for hours.
Of course, I expected to love him. I certainly love his mother. I fell for her hard the moment she was born, and I did it all over again when her sister came along. But this boy? He lives halfway across the country. I see him infrequently. I only get to hug him four times a year.
Despite that, I am nearly overwhelmed with the amount of devotion I feel for this one small boy. The blondie. The one with the slight lisp. The bluest eyes. He calls me “B” and blows me kisses on Facetime.
If things seem hopeless, I look at his face.