I came across a photograph today, it was of you. Though it is only the silky brown of your hair we see in the photo, I remember the look in your eyes, so serious, so happy. I was lifting a green ribbon from around your neck, a ribbon you carried your father’s ring on before I gave it to him. You took your job so seriously, and you didn’t drop, nor lose it.
I leaned low to touch your check with my satin gloved fingertips, to kiss your forehead. There I can see the lines creased at the edge of my eyes, not from weather, nor years, but from a deep joy that pushed its way out through my skin. You had those lines too. You said to me, ‘life is laughing.’ Maybe you didn’t say it right at that moment, maybe not even that day, but you said it often, and I believed you. I still do, nearly twelve years later.
Now it is you who leans ever so slightly and kisses my cheek and I feel your whiskers brush against my skin. A year from now and you’ll join the ranks of adults of the world, and still you will remain my son who reminds me to laugh, and that the lines around my eyes are a good thing.