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little things

published: 2018-01-28

On my way to a meeting, I drop by school with his lunch box. I had forgotten to put it into his school bag. He hasn’t yet noticed I had forgotten because I am on time – only just. I can slip it into his school bag and he’ll never know. There are so many little things we do that way, to help them without them knowing.
Pretty soon, his hormones will have him hating me. And still he’ll never know.
I peer into the classroom past drawings about treating each other with respect, and past the collection of fossils and crystals on the window sill – plasticised bugs, bright green wings – and see him in a soundless bubble, as if I’m watching a film of him. He is smiling while working with the boy next to him, they are discussing how to approach a project of some sort. He is entirely at ease in himself.
Suddenly, someone says something to him and he searches in my direction window. It takes him a while to spot me, I am squished between clutter. Perhaps he sees only my eye.
When he detects me, his face lights up in an automatic, natural response and a warm smile. Happy to see me. A split second later his expression shifts into action, life as usual – ask the teacher to be dismissed, run out the classroom to me, ask me what’s up – I forgot your lunch box – oh thank you mum – are you enjoying this day – yes – see you later – see you – and he skips back into the classroom.
I may have done so many little things to help him. And he has done so many little things to help me.

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