I stepped outside to shovel the driveway this afternoon in the last few minutes of Pascal's nap. We got tons of snow today and I wanted it to be an easy return home for Patrick after his long day's work.
When I left, Vava was painting at the table, and Kachi and Sam were setting up a stuffed-animal army to face off against a Lego squad.
I'd shoveled about a third of the driveway when the door opened and a polite voice asked, "can I take care of that for you, mama?"
The snow was swirling around in the exact same way, and I was wearing the same clothes, and the house hadn't changed a bit - but surely ten years had passed?
Five at least.
Hadn't I left a boy playing with stuffies inside? Who - how -
And there he was, standing in the door, pulling on his boots and jacket. "You don't have to do any more," he called, "you can just leave your shovel there."
And that blessed boy still talks with that little-kid accent, or whatever a lisp is called when you can't manage Rs, but here he was being considerate and helpful and deliciously polite and sounding so much older than six.
And he thinks that his gift to me was his hard work, but the bigger gift was this glimpse of this wonderful young man, this flash-forward of a kind son I'm already so proud of.
Merry Christmas, friends.