My twenty month old son has a snowsuit that we put him in when his dad, whom he calls papa, takes him on a stroller ride to dinner. Yes, we believe in family dinners, and sometimes we have more than one dinner in order to scrape by a sense of meal communion, but lately we have all been decidedly under the weather, for over a month at least—swapping laryngitis for the flu for most recently, in my case, a week of an allergic reaction that debuted in the form of scalp-to-feet red hot itching hives. The hives subsided with the wonderful miracle that is prednisone, when adequately dosed, then progressed for a few days to a tightness in the chest, a degree of breathing difficulty just onerous enough to dispel sleep but only once frontiering to the territory of wheezing, which took me to the instacare that sent me to the emergency room for a shot of epinephrine and two blissful hours of effortless breathing and an elevated heart rate before I went home with epipens and that just slightly onerous tightness of breath—
The point being, yes, we believe in family dinners, but on the whole we are happy to be getting by relatively safe and oxygenated, if you know what I mean. As such, when my dear and loving companion can take our son on a stroller walk to their mutual favorite restaurant for a mutual treat (during which I can stay home and rest, even though I am already resting a lot of on any given day) we take that as a victory.
Which brings me back to my son’s snowsuit. This particular snowsuit, which keeps him warm in his stroller during the winter evenings, has little caps for hands and feet that can be pulled on or off, and we usually pull them over our son’s feet on account of us having lost nearly all of his many pairs of shoes—but this means that he is treading on his suit, rather than on shoes, as he walks on the sidewalk and down the concrete stairs to his stroller (his papa spotting him from below).
I know that this suit is bound to wear down at the feet sooner or later, and certainly sooner than snowsuit booties are meant to, and that makes me feel the fleetingness of this moment now with my son in a way that I wish I felt as naturally about the way my son says horses as “her-sees,” or the way he asks me to draw pumpkins over and over and over again, handing me the pen. Of course, these are just two of the milion transient remarkable moments with him that are so fleeting, and yet somehow my mind thinks they will last forever, a beautiful and betraying illusion that lets me doze on the couch when, for instance, my son pulls apart legos with his papa or runs around the kitchen, shouting “fast!” and shrieking with laughter. But when I think of my son’s snowsuit booties wearing down, miniature holes I can’t see building up to become holes I eventually will see, I am filled with heartache.