It's close to 8 P.M. We just got done having dinner. The Beatles are playing through the Bose. Most of the lights are on in the house. And Hayden (5 yrs. old) is performing is usual evening ritual; he's naked, making every sound imaginable, and spinning like a whirling dervish in the middle of the kitchen. As I pass by him on my way to the sink with a handful of dirty dishes he stops in mid-spin, looks up at me, and says, "Dad, pick me up." I'm physically tired. Just like the night before that, and the night before that, back as far as I can remember. I say to him, "you're getting too big to be picked up, H. Pretty soon I won't be doing this anymore." He stands there undeterred staring at me in silence with his arms raised. He won't take no for an answer. So I set the dishes down on the counter, reach over and put each hand under each of his armpits, bend my knees, and heave him up into my arms. He looks at me and says, "You're the only daddy that'll walk the line. I love you." Then he gave me a kiss on the cheek. I smiled, told him I felt the same way, set him down, and he went on spinning.
When the kid has got something to say he says it.