That Kid Who’s Been Pulling Away for His Whole Life

That one kid.

The one who’s been pulling away his entire life. The one who blended in with the rest of the family at first but then subtly, in small but unmistakable ways, began distancing himself until he was fully in his own orbit, still revolving around us but always looking outward toward more interesting stars, more exciting galaxies.

That one baby.

The one who saw an obstacle in front of him (a no-frills, first-generation Exersaucer) and unlike his siblings who carefully and wisely crawled around it, plowed unhesitatingly right through it, to get to the other side in the quickest way possible. The one who refused to be quietly cuddled and read to before bedtime, instead wanting to ride his push car around and around and around the open floor plan of our house, endlessly going and going … anywhere.

That one toddler.

The one in the picture above, who walked early, and right away I saw that this would be my view of him from now on: one hand out to steady himself, one hand holding a useful tool, and a determined stance that kept him moving inexorably away from me, on his own path. Who, at two and three and four, straddled the arm of the couch in full western gear, singing cowboy songs and announcing that he was moving to Texas to herd cattle, or maybe Montana.

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