in a name

Sometimes I’ll experience a singular life moment, and afterwards I’ll be like: I didn’t get any pictures of it! And then I realize it’s because I was too busy….living it? If you get a picture of it, ARE YOU EVEN LIVING IT? But my most recent favorite lived, unphotographed moment: we took Joe to dinner for the first time in his wee life. We sat outside, tables carefully laid out far from each other, all of us snuggled next to our own heatlamps, gazing at the Pacific Ocean. Joe spent the first part of the dinner kicking it back in his stroller, gumming puffs, his currency, into his mouth, but at some point he got restless so I started to walk him around. And was as if he knew how badly we all needed a unifying moment, and he started smiling at everyone around us, and for a few moments, all attention turned to him, and he was a hopeful future, and I was a Mother, I was HIS Mother. At the table next to us was a woman celebrating her 90th birthday with her two daughters. She asked his name, I said Joe, and they all lit up. That was her husband’s name. That was our Dad’s name. Clearly not with them anymore, but as Joe grinned at them for no reason, for Every reason, it was like he Was.

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