There is a moment

There is a moment

when I walk out into the early morning light

in my pajamas and robe

to offer my son's friend

a fried egg sandwich

as he waits in the car before school.

He looks up from his phone,

and his whole face alights.

In that moment,

I see the nine year old boy

I once knew –

his glasses and basketball shorts,

his humor and gym shoes,

his arms and legs, gangly –

not the muscles that ripple

under his t-shirt today.

And I see the adolescent, navigating

the barrage of texts that have just come in

and the video on instagram

and the strength it takes to walk into

high school –

more strength than the weights he lifted that morning.

I remember myself at sixteen and wonder:

how much armor did I put on

to make it through the halls?

It is not easy to be sixteen

at any time, let alone today.

I long to tell him that.

Instead, I walk back into the house and

offer him a silent blessing as he begins

his day: “Please life, be kind.”

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