I smile as I sit here watching his tousled head while he looks down towards the floor. He is beautiful, so much so that I have to fight down the desire to run my fingers through his hair and ruffle it playfully, and yet he is also sad, troubled in a way that youth should not be troubled. He has seen too many heartaches and disappointments already and I know that life will keep throwing challenges his way. I ache to comfort him but I have no idea how to accomplish this. He is good at coping with most things and he puts on a brave face to the world, but I know him better than most, it is my arms that encircle him when he crys, it is my chest he buries his face into when he awakes from yet another nightmare, it is only me that knows how deeply he feels each little sling and arrow aimed at his tender little heart. There is no doubt that I love him, but what more can I do to show him this? How can I wipe the pain from his eyes? I have given him a home and my heart but to me it doesn't feel like I have given him enough considering all the joy that he has brought into my broken world.
Still he looks down, his slender fingers delicately holding a pencil and his tongue protruding slightly from the corner of his mouth as he concentrates on the drawing he is doing. I gave him that, this love of art, this outlet for his frustrations, but now I am troubled by the images he chooses to portray. It's not that they are obviously dark, no that would be less disturbing than what he does draw. Clear images of hate or anger, even of love, those are the easy things to deal with because at least you have a starting point, something to sink your teeth into and give a good shake. No, he is much subtler than that, making me realise that he is so much more intelligent than I could ever be. His drawings are excellent, he has won prizes for them in fact, yet I see something odd about them all, something not quite finished. It is as if there is something inside of him that is as incomplete as his drawings. It makes me wonder if I am the cause of that hollowness or if it is rooted in his past. How can I ever hope to find out without asking him directly and would questioning him gain me a straight answer anyway or would it just reveal my own vulnerabilities to him?
It is quiet in the room where we are sitting with only the sound of the ticking clock in the background adding a counterpoint to our breathing. He looks up for a moment and catches my eye. I smile tentatively at him and he smiles back, a broader and more welcoming smile than my own. My smile broadens as his face makes my heart leap, that unlined face, so much younger than my own, with so many years to go before he could match my own length of life. It is strange, he makes me feel young again. but at the same time my years weigh heavy on my mind. In him I see the world as new once again, with endless possibilities and countless dreams to be dreamt and then thrown away in favour of a better one. I wonder now as I look back over my life, how many dreams I have aimed for only to turn away from them in search of the next best thing? I stand up then, too much thinking is not good for me, especially as I am not particularly good at it. As I pass him, I finally yield to the temptation to tousle his hair and I grin as he playfully slaps my hand away before going back to his sketch. I wander into the kitchen and make us a cup of tea each and a cheese sandwich. It is simple fare perhaps and not exactly what would normally count as Sunday lunch, but we are happy with it. I come back in and switch on the telly just in time to watch football. He puts away his drawing then and comes to sit next to me on my squishy leather sofa. I put my arm around him and give him a squeeze. He smiles at me and hugs me back before filling his face with tea-dunked sandwich.
I am happy now and this has turned out to be a great Sunday, spending time with the one man I love with all my heart; my son.