i push him and his bruised legs begin to pump. the bruises of a four year old boy who plays hard. the summer of learning the two wheel bike. crying because he wants a skateboard. doing tricks now on his scooter and looking for more adventure. a summer of new independence. getting himself ready for bed, picking out his outfit for the next day, teaching his baby sister little lessons and making his voice deeper than it actually is. and yet every night still asking that i lay with him, and then still wrapping his little arms around me and breathing into my neck. the other night after he was asleep i snuck out of his bed. he woke up an hour later and started crying, something he hasn’t done in over a year. when i opened the door he was sitting in his bed, “why did you leave me all alone” he said.
i push him and see the sun tan on his neck. from our adventure at the beach, the last grand finale of the summer vacation. the nights in that big beach house with our family, and the mornings when he would find his little cousin and they’d walk down to grammy and papa’s room. their feet echoing through the halls and laughing.
i push him. each push he comes back to me. the start of the school year when he walks into the building i went to school in. the preschool teacher who taught my baby brother now teaching my baby. he tells me he doesn’t want to leave me. like a kick in the gut. i don’t want him to leave me. and yet i give him the extra push he needs to walk into the building alone.
the last summer of pushing the small of his four year old back
you’re as much theirs as you are mine now
nothing lasts forever
but you’re still mine more