Monday, February 16, 2009

Baby Boy's tube

For as long as we knew him, Baby Boy was small enough that I could slip him in a plastic tube, screw on the cap, and then insert the tube into the top of my cell phone, like some outsized, rounded SIM card.

His breath would cause moisture to bead the walls. Sometimes, if I left Baby Boy in long enough, water would become like a sconce over the trio of air holes on the cap. So I had to make sure to eject and unscrew the tube before Baby Boy turned the color of an angry plum.

Baby Boy was a genius, not certifiable, but a genius nonetheless. The reason I'm saying this is not just because we are his mom & his dad. I don't think it's just the normal bias.

Here's why: At a few days old, he was answering my questions (abstract and stuttered as usual) with nearly perfect diction and grammar, as well as clever flights of rhetoric. When we let his out of the tube after his naps, he'd spring to life, climb out and sprint across the table, his pin-ish legs propelling him forward with agile grace.

He gave us love, so much of it.

But the cells in his body never got it together enough to pile up, to make him bigger. Years passed and he stayed vanishingly small.

e told us he liked the tube a whole lot. He didn't feel like he was getting too old for it and God knows he wasn't getting too big. He found it a comfort to be tucked away in a place so dark while he dreamt of chasing fire ants or scaling bonsai trees. The night-like awayness of where he slept help make his dreams real, he said.

As much as the tube calmed him, it was also exceedingly convenient for us, as you can imagine. I could even bring him to work and everything, without anyone noticing. The tube muted his sobs, snores, and coos. So we kept him in it. Everyone was happy.

Coursing, physical agony set in on the sad day when - drunkenly, I'll admit - my cell phone unhinged from my belt loop holster and disappeared to who knows where, and Baby Boy, our boy, disappeared with it.

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