b ~ My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—

“Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.”
~ Epictetus

My hand accidentally touched his chin
and he bristled at my comment;
that he was still so young, still my little boy.
He stood up taller, straighter,
as if to amass the total of his fifteen years.

I felt small next to him
a parent to his child.
All of the pencil marks on the wall
have added up to this~
this sweet, gangly boy.
A mild eccentric.

He exudes confidence in his clothing choices.
Vests and suspenders,
jackets and caps
pocket watches and bowties.
His ever present Converse.

He certainly stands out in a crowd.
A crowd of his own making.
We’ve started using words like
and dashing in our conversations.
I know he is proud of this, and so are we.

We talk each night about what he’ll wear the next day.
And I am in love with the thought of him;
trying my hardest to focus on the right now,
loving just this,
the moments we spend together each evening.
Trying to ignore the glimpses I catch of his older self peeking out

Instead I remember a toddler, the one I used to dress.
When we would head out into the world,
I would see how our clothes complimented each other.
A similar color scheme,
or the accidental khakis and blue shirt for each.
Matching red curls on top.
Just yesterday we both met the day wearing similar Monday armor,
tan-colored suit jackets for each of us.
I grinned at the synchronicity.

Years ago he used to say we were tele-pathetic.
The phrase stuck and we still reference it occasionally.
Harkening back to a time when he was younger
and mispronounced some words

Now he very clearly enunciates when he says:
learner’s permit, contact lenses, off campus privileges
I try to turn a deaf ear,
to pretend that I can’t quite comprehend…
Frankly, these words are foreign to me.
I don’t quite understand how we got here so quickly,
yet I know these things are inevitable.
They are part of his growing up.
I’m trying, trying…
Trying to hold on and let go.

Because he certainly is more than capable
I see his ability to accept these
responsibilities reflected in his stride.
His long gait much longer than my own.

He is so much taller than me;
I can no longer pick him up.
and when that happened,
when I woke up one morning to discover that he grew overnight and I had to
look up to see him…

Something shifted and I was unsteady;
the ground beneath my feet catching me off balance.

But he’s still my sweet boy,
and when I ask for early morning photo shoot, he doesn’t object.
I click and click and click.
Capturing a moment,
one I will someday use to remind me of now.

When he was young, with so much of everything still ahead of him.

I try not to worry,
I know that whatever comes his way, he will always be well-dressed.

About andi

Writer, editor, wrangler of small boys and dogs.

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