"Ohhhh, you want a tickle fight?!"
This is followed by squeals, high-pitched screams, giggles, and pleas for mercy. "Please, Dada, please! No, no, no, no, nooooo! OK, OK, OK, do it again, tickle me!"
In the pauses, silly sounds and made-up songs. "Wooga, wooga, wooga." "Shoobie doobie doobie, shoop, shoop, shoop!"
Other pauses are out of concern. "Are you OK? Did you hit your head very hard?" "I'm OK. I'm OK."
The wrestling and tickling die down. A story starts. "Do you know what I used to do when I was a little boy in Sri Lanka?" And time to talk. "You know, when you go to Montessori school,..." Then, a question about his soon-to-be cousin. "You mean, Silas?"More quiet. I wonder what thoughts fill this silent space. But it's over just as quickly as it started. "Let's build something, Dada. I'll get my tools!"
No words now. Just the noises of plastic hammer, screwdriver, saw against each other.
This is their hour together. And my time to do with as I wish.
Soon, I'll be back "on": bath time, stories, prayers, bed, dishes, counters, floor, garbage.
But right now, we're all staying in the moment.
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