Asher is sitting in the recliner beside his buddy, and they are small enough to fit comfortably, both of them all leaning and leggy. Asher is holding his Geoff and Monkey, while his buddy is holding a toy. Having squeezed all the fun out of the back yard and the toy cars and their fruit snacks and the train table, they are now watching a cartoon together. And every little thing is hysterically funny, but only because they are together, in the recliner, and they like to hear the other laugh. Cars and tools are strewn throughout the house, and the living room is full of giggly little boys, late this afternoon.
I'm watching this scene from the dining room, and I'm thinking - this is it. This moment is part of the transition from after-nap to after-school, from sitting in his mom's lap with a cup of milk to evening baseball games and projects to complete. Before I had children, I could imagine a baby, then a preschooler, then an older child. What I couldn't begin to fathom is how one morphs into the other, how that tiny baby asleep on my shoulder would ease into a toddling godzilla baby, stomping around, arms out for balance - into a tiny boy who could climb up the slide and go down it on his own - into this little boy in my living room, asking to have friends over in the afternoons.
We live our lives in the in between. All of the tiny milestones - the first time they tell you "no," the first time they ask for their sibling - are just a part of daily life. But I'm thankful to recognize this afternoon for what it is - my son taking one more step forward out of the cocoon of our home and into the wide wide world.