I hear his voice. "Here I am. It's late, bedtime. Would you like a story?" I ask. As I read, I do my amatuer best to paint an imaginary place. A pleasant place... one that will close sleepy eyes. A place that will make dreaming peaceful and safe.
The boy accepts my attempt as if it were the best he's ever heard. I animate words with sound effects and laughter. Creating for him the great green room...the red balloon...the cow jumping over the moon.
Fingers wiggle together, his sign for more. And good night to the old lady whispering hush...Goodnight stars...Goodnight air...Goodnight noises everywhere. He wiggles his fingers together, his sign for more. I read the story over and over again. He listens intently, as if he's never heard it before. Eyes dart around the room as he thinks about it. The sly, crooked smile lights his face, turning to follow my voice. As if the child in him knows something I don't.
Maybe all children know something we don't. Something we forget as we grow older. I try to remember what it might be. Whatever it is, it hovers as I turn the pages. My heart is full.