We're done playing soccer in the yard and I'm pushing the kids on the swings. It was hot most of the day, but the sun is low and the shadows are blue and cool.
"I'm swinging higher than the sky!" Maia cries. "Than a buildin'! Than a airplane! A jet! A spaceship!"
John pumps his legs back, trying and not trying to kick me. "Watch it," I say. "OK, sorry," he replies, and I really notice for the first time in a few months how very big he is getting. He reminded me yesterday, on his first day of third grade, that in three years he would be at the high school. He's almost too big for the swing. I'm tempted to kiss his back as it swings away from me, softly, without him noticing, while I still can.
It's an awkward proposition, so I kiss my hand instead, and push him with it, three or four times.
"A cloud!" says Maia. "A star! A planet!"
"I'm trying to kiss you," I tell John. "Mwah! Mwah!"
"Doh-ant!" he says, laughing and a little annoyed. "That slows me down when you do that."