Scene: the rocking chair in the kids’ room. I’ve got my not quite two-and-a-half year-old sonÂ cuddled upÂ on my lap, and he’s sucking my pinkie as I sing lullabies to him. Â It’s a nightly ritual I predict I will be loathe to give up, and I try not to think of that time. Â With any luck it’ll be at least five years or so. Â Ahem. Â
Lil’ peanut (quietly, from behind my pinkie): You’re a great singer.
[Here’s where I note that his mum is an opera singer. Â Her nighttime routine typically features highlights from the Joni Mitchell songbook, poured like honey into his ear.]
Baba (after recovering from being dumbstruck): You’re a great son.
Peanut (again from behind the pinkie, and only after the merest of pauses): You’re a great parent.
Baba (struck even dumber): You were sent here from heaven, sweetie.
Peanut (smiling): I’m not in heaven.
Baba: No, you’re not. You’re right here with me. And you came here from–
Peanut: Mama’s belly.
Baba: Most recently, yes.
Peanut (after a brief contemplative pause): You’re a great pinkie.