Morning routine. I rouse the Boy, who turns and blinks at me with that sleepy-head look, then grins a little. "Time to get up, little man," I say as cheerfully as I can, wishing I were also still in bed. "Hi, Mommy!" he is suddenly wide awake, ready to start. I head out to the hall, make sure he has his clothes laid out in the right order. He tumbles out and hugs me, a big bear hug, a good-morning hug. There are no more words yet, but that's OK, he'll have some by the time he comes downstairs.
Together, we sit ont eh porch,waiting for the bus. It is still dark. He repeats what he told his father the night before. "I like middle school. It is much less stressful than elementary school." It is a statement, a fact, something to note and share. I smile, and he starts fingerspelling as fast as he can. His fingers can move faster than his mouth, and his fingers are through the alphabet before his voice. "You are getting really good at that," I praise him. "I love you, Mommy," he sighs, and lays his head gently on my shoulder. What can one do, but kiss that head? Then it snaps up again. "A-p-p-l-e i-n my p-o-n-d!" he sings. "Apple in my pond!" It's a script, but it is the end of it, no response is required on my part. "Red and yellow make orange!" he chimes after a brief pause. I try to think of something to say, to help him feel connected, to let him know I hear him. "Colors mix above my head..." I start to sing, thinking fast. "Like orange made with yellow and red!" He giggles. I hope it was what he was asking for, though I suspect it didn't matter what I said, he just wanted me to speak. I don't have many words in the morning, either. The bus comes. He wants another kiss before he goes off on his new adventure. He wants another hug. Then he's gone, as he has been since he was two. Off on the big yellow bus.