I thought something was the matter. I found him standing tall, alert, with his finger pointed down definitively.
"LOOK AT THAT!" He kept yelling. Was that a smile? Or was he scared?
"At what? At what?" I asked it twice, confused. What was he pointing to.
"That right there," he shook his hand at the floor. "THERE! LOOK!"
I bent down, pulling my towel tighter to my body. I had no idea what he was directing me to. I shook my head back at him to let him know.
And then Lil E fell to the hardwood floor, stretched his body out, put his face as close as he could to the boards and traced his finger along the grain until he found what he wanted me to see.
"Right there," his voice nearly became a whisper. I moved in closer, lowering to my knees. My drenched hair fell in front of his face and he pushed it away patiently. I squinted. "A heart."
I saw it, a speck worked into the wood we walk upon hundreds (?) of times a day. The place where Lil E calls spontaneous dance parties to avoid housework. Right next to the spot where he drops his book bag, Tae Kwon Do gear, backpack for his daddy's house and I step, step, step all that evidence of his first-grade life. There was a heart.
"You're right, it is." I got in as close as I could and then Lil E nudged me aside so he could examine it even closer.
"I don't know how I saw it," he said. "I just did. I just looked down and there it was all the time! And I had to show you."
I'm sure his vision is sharpened by all those hours of hunting eighth-of-an-inch Lego pieces and seeing clues in Pokemon cards I will never understand the meaning of (and neither will he, probably). Still, it's the tiniest little thing, that heart.
It's wearing at part of our foundation, eating at our structure, but that heart belongs there. Maybe not for all eyes, but he was open and clear-sighted and he saw it for both of us.
Think you've lost love? Not to worry. We're heart detectives and we've spied it:
And our favorite place, in the ocean.