“Shall I come sit with you?” I ask my son, who has been 12-yeras-old for 10 hours. He was born at 10.24 in the morning. I couldn’t hold him that morning, my vision was blotched, my hands were shaking, it felt like a knife was cutting through my head, and I had lost 2 litres of blood. I watched his father cradle him, his nose close to our baby’s head, his cheeks flushed. And I felt safe. He was in good hands. I had done something right, somehow.
He is now playing a game on his PS, headphones on, draped over his teenage bed. His long legs looking like loose limbs. When I ask if I can come sit with him he jumps up and says “oh yes let’s read together!” We do that sometimes, I lean against a big pillow and read a book, he does too, night light on, a tray with tea and water and a cookie. Apparently he loves it. I do, I love the togetherness.
“What do you think is the best age to be?” I ask.
“Twelve,” he says, “this is a great year. I am oldest at primary school and tomorrow I get to hear what secondary school I’m going to and after Summer it starts.”
He stares into nothingness a bit, his expression beaming of possibility.
“I won’t sleep,” he says.
I stroke his foot and he touches my hand while continuing reading. I think of his dad who lives on the other side of the park. And how my son goes back and forth between us.