My son the Gecko is my first born child. I tend to baby the Gecko a bit... on school mornings I dress him either while he is still half asleep snuggled in his bed, or while he is at the kitchen table enjoying his breakfast. It is a ballet dance between us as he automatically presents an arm or foot just as I am slipping on a sleeve or pant leg.
Yesterday morning, a morning that pretended to be like any other, he swung his foot up to hook the oncoming sock... and I saw it. I caught his foot in one hand and left the sock dangling in the other as I gawked at it. It was a man foot. There were strong tendons fanning out with little dips between them. The toes were individually shaped with the first and middle ones grown longer than the big one. There were indents in the sides of them where they lay tightly against each other when he walks or runs. And there was a faint hint of stinky.
Before I could stop it, out flew an astonished, “Oh my goodness your toes!” Peanut butter and honey toast froze midway to his mouth and he looked down at me with concern. I recovered quickly and made up a little myth about how having your first and middle toes be longer than your big toe meant you are brilliant. I showed him the evidence of his genius and then tugged the sock over it and moved along to the other foot.
It too showed no trace of my baby boy’s scrumptious feet. No longer was it plumped up and covered in silky soft skin, topped off with perfect piggies... one the size of a small grape, the others like tiny treats in a row from biggest to smallest.
Those infant boy feet that I had sung to, feigned eating, massaged with lotion, and squashed against my nose to sniff up the sweetness of babyhood were gone, replaced by man feet. I had made it just fine through his first crew cut, his first day of kindergarten, and the loss of his first tooth but this... this was different.
I knew the second I saw that man foot it was a harbinger. It gave me a vision of something I was not ready to see. One day those man feet will walk out my front door and the boy will not return.
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