“Carry you?” I repeat, in my astonished voice, all full of mock gravitas.
“Carry me to the car!” he chirps. He’s even hopping like a little chickadee.
“Alright,” I say, “but if I’m going to carry you? You need to carry the car keys for me. It’s a really important job. Can you do that?”
“Yeah,” he says, reaching simultaneously for me and for the keys.
And because soon he’ll be too big to carry, I scoop him up and settle him on my hip. I carry his still-warm-from-his-nap, pliant little body out to the car. Freedom these days means leaving the confines of my work life, and returning home where I can breathe again. And, even weighted down with thirty pounds of boy, I am flying!
“My coin!” he whines, about halfway down the long walkway from the mud room to the driveway.
This morning he found a penny on the floor of the minivan, and he has been pressing it between his fingers, safe in the pocket of his cargo shorts, waiting to bring it home to show his Dad. He’s still young enough to find small talismans everywhere.
I reach into his pocket and find the penny, caught in that deep pointy part where the seams all come together.
I hand it to him, and we continue on our way. He has the car keys in one hand, his penny in the other.
“Lovey, do you want to open your door?” I ask.
The minivan has the automatic sliding doors, and he loves to press the button to open his door, but it takes both hands for him to both hold the remote and push the button.
So he sets his coin in the vee of my tee-shirt, just a little to the left of my sternum, where humidity and the curve of flesh defy gravity to keep the penny in place. Over my heart.