I can’t get this picture out of my mind. I keep returning to it, in all it’s imperfect glory. Their hair is a mess. The clothes are faded play clothes suitable for what they were doing–playing in dirt. Their smiles, endearing but ridiculous. I interrupted them in the middle of an impromptu cracker break. I don’t know where Mikey found the crackers. They are from when they were both sick in November, and I thought we had finished the package. But, there they were, eating crackers and happy enough with their pilfered treats to give me quasi smiles for the camera.
They looked so happy sitting there, eating their crackers. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, they are looking more like brothers to me. I mean, they were always brothers, but before it was more like Mikey and the baby. Mikey and his baby brother. Mikey and Nicholas, my little boys.
But something about the way they were sitting there, Mikey talking about dinosaurs and Nicholas replying in incomprehensible gibberish, something about the way Nico’s collared shirt fit his toddler body catapulted me into the future 10 years and I saw them–both teenagers–sitting side by side talking about cars and girls and movies and, maybe if I am lucky, a dinosaur or two.