He left me today.
We were hanging out the laundry in the back garden. Or rather, I was hanging out the laundry while he explored the principles of clothespegs. At fifteen months, such things are very interesting.
Then, quite calmly, he closed the clothespeg bag, picked it up, and stood up. He slung his burden over one shoulder (it still nearly dragged on the ground), then turned and gave me a solemn wave. "Bye," he said, exhausting his vocabulary. He waved again and turned, still clutching the clothespeg bag. Then he walked to the back door.
Sadly, he was too short to reach the handle, so I never saw how far he was determined to go.
It was a cute game, however abortive. He's exploring the ideas of separation and departure in his own way. His ability to control his movements, to leave at will, gives him the power to flirt with these difficult, dangerous notions.
Watching him, I saw the shadows of future departures - off to school, leaving for college perhaps. Driving away with all his things in the trunk of his car. Walking up to the altar with his true love.
A cloud seemed to cross the sun as I thought of another departure, me from him or him from me, more final than any of those bright futures. That's the leave-taking he dreads, looking back so anxiously as he goes, just to be sure that I'm still there. He doesn't know about death, of course, but he fears loss nevertheless.
The sun came out again as he came toddling back. He threw his arms around me and gave me a soggy, open-mouthed kiss. The shadows of future departures, both good and bad, vanished in the delight of the present.
I love you, Bobo