plaid shorts and t-shirts

of all the things
that have changed in my life
since they first laid that little boy across my chest
and I gazed into those eyes
and held that little hand

like the way I tackled a diaper
and finding Matchbox cars in my bag
and on the counter
and all the places,
Star Wars characters in the refrigerator,
the big rush to do all the things like
flying down the street on his bike,
hair in the wind behind him

play that looks like wrestling
and when I ask “are y’all okay?”
they look at me puzzled, perhaps bemused
and go right back to their body twists
tangling, laughing the whole time

I think my biggest surprise
that has brought me such joy is
watching him with his friend
as they grab fists and bump each other’s backs
just as we watch the grown men do
who are “with it” and “cool”

they are so serious
and yet, still so small,
and it makes me smile

but my favorite thing has to be
the way he dresses himself
so assured
in plaid shorts and a t-shirt
that match in no way whatsoever

and so they almost do

and I think that glimpse of
confidence
and of the man he will become
is what warms my heart the most
and makes me weep
at just how fast time is passing

as little boys
become men
one day at a time

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