From the shadows of our bedroom, he teetered behind the door and then out into the hallway's brightness. His blonde hair became golden under its cast; his eyes shone like the summer sky. He giggled, moving his chubby fingers toward the door's edge and then disappearing again in series of herky-jerky movements. The door, still propped open by the puddling corner of his terrycloth hooded towel that hung from its handle, invited him to continue the game -- close, open, giggle, catch Mommy's gaze; close, open, giggle, catch Mommy's gaze.
Until one time, his over-confident hand shut the door. Like all the way shut. Like no lightness; no brightness. Like no serendipitous, stolen glimpse of Mommy. Like nothing. Nothing but a big, dark room fed by one tiny glowing crack stretching from underneath its wide stance.
He squealed; this time with less delight and more urgency, as if to say, "I mean it. Now, Mommy! Help!" Faster than a first-base runner I saved the day by revealing a sweet sliver of space between doors A and B. It grew bigger and brighter until finally more than one fleece-jammied foot peeked out.
Round tummy shaking and arms outstretched, Grant chortled as he took quick, short steps toward me. I bent down. We laughed. His eyes twinkled.
I stood up, grabbing his velvety hand before taking a few steps toward his nursery to read bedtime stories.
In all of 16 months Grant and I had yet to hold hands walking side-by-side. Maybe it is more than the 'big boy' haircut he dons now, or the way he expresses understandable ideas and opinions. Maybe it is more than the way I still see him -- a docile baby who will go anywhere, do anything.
He's coming into his own...