“Hola, Mommy! Como – How are you?”
It was like manna from heaven, the sound of my boy’s voice, replete with a Spanish accent and brimming with a level of excitement I hadn’t heard in him in a long time. There was no need for me to ask if he was enjoying himself at his Spanish immersion program. It was clear. If he was bothered by four days of mandatory silence with the outside world, it certainly didn’t show.
I put him on speaker phone and all of the females of the family peppered him with information and questions. He answered rapidly, with only thirty minutes total to talk to us, his father and the girl he started dating before leaving for a month, but I could see the smile on his face through the phone, nevertheless.
He has the same smile today as the one he was born with. It’s still there, though it’s been studded with teeth now for quite some time. Occasionally, a certain tilt of his head coupled with the mischievous rise of a corner of his mouth brings his infant self flying back into view.
I listened to him tell us with giddy giggles about his ritual of racing across campus at dawn to get thirty minutes of kung fu training in before his regimented day begins, and I thought, for perhaps the tenth time this month, where have all the years gone? Wasn’t it just a few years ago we had our own morning ritual of dancing outside his crib to the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction?”
Nope. Not even close. It was almost a lifetime ago. His lifetime.
I’m going to need a bit more of mine to get over that. Sigh…