It was Mason’s last day. He understood enough of – there’s not much that children can’t understand, if explained simply and slowly. He understood that it was his last day at school and he wasn’t going to come anymore. He understood that – well, his blue eyes were full of melancholy. I hugged him, rubbed the small space between his shoulder blades. He’s too skinny – not enough to alarm his pediatrician, but in the way you sometimes see in small children when they have too much sugary cereal and not enough nurturing.
I can never lie to children, or adults, to anyone who is in my arms: I can’t say “It’s okay” when it so often isn’t.
I say what I feel. “I know.”
“I love you.”