Kicking leaves down the hill.
Kicking leave up the hill when he scoots in front of me.
I try not to begrudge my aching arms when I scoop him up. He absently pats my arm and I imagine he means "good job, mom".
He sighs and rests his head on my shoulder. He smells like the shampoo I used for his bath last night. It's not baby-down anymore, it's little-boy hair.
It's still hard not to worry all of the time. I guess it never goes away, the roar just gets louder and softer sometimes.
Last night I think he really understood that there was a person behind my eyes for the first time.
I scooped him out of the bath and he did his usual, wiggly, giggly dances. When I finished pulling his pajamas over his head he laughed and looked at me. And then he stopped. He stared, pressed his chubby-little hands into my cheeks and pulled my face towards him. His little brow furrowed as I watched him examining the strange windows. "Hello", I said. He tentatively extended a finger and tried to gently poke it in my right eye. I laughed, he laughed, and we went back to business as usual.
But since then, a couple of times today, he'll do the same thing. We'll be playing with his numbers or reading a book when he'll stop, get a quizzical expression, and carefully examine every part of my face.
He's trying to figure it all out.