He tells me he wants to grow his hair out, because that would make him look so cool. “And Mom,” he says excitedly, “what if my hair was long and I wore the leather jacket to school?” Oh my gosh, I tell him, he would be the coolest ever.

He will play his tablet until the world stops, if we let him. He insists on telling me all about the games, though I don’t understand a word. He likes to text me, and I am amazed at how fast he can go. I hear his giggle from his room and he texts “pooooop. Lol” Such a boy.

He tells me he doesn’t need good night kisses anymore, but hugs are okay and he still needs sprinkled with magic dust to keep the bad dreams away. His animals stand guard on the side of his bed. His room glows with his fish tank and lava lamp. I love him so much I can’t catch my breath, and I worry I have already fucked him up. I vow and try harder tomorrow, just like I do every night. I want every day to be his best day.

He calls out for one more drink, one more blanket fix. He says Mom in a way that will always remain in my heart. I ruffle his shaggy hair and step out again, closing the door softly behind me. My boy sleeps soundly.


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