After an early morning, longer-than-expected, pre-dawn run through a quiet but menacingly affluent neighborhood, finishing with a quarter-mile sprint, brief cooldown, the solar winds buffing the morning sky a cold steel blue, peeling sweaty clothes on the back porch, a few asanas of naked yoga, quick shower and shave, putting meals together for the workday and then dressing -- I had to stop in to SweetfaceBoy's room.

He had sleepwalked into our room during the night and wedged himself between me and Lovey, the light weight of his draped arm or leg an incidental blanket.

Still so small. Just turned eight too fast. I want to put on the brakes, increase the years to 730 days each, maintain his wonder and innocence.

So his room was empty, his blankets intact since he loves the order of a made bed, just the slight impression his 65 pounds make. I looked around.

A big stuffed Tigger in the corner. Legos on every flat surface. A petrified snake lurking on the armoire. Big blue backpack hanging from the closet door, filled with second-grade homework printed impeccably. Goosebumps novels, snake books, Lego magazines and Bionicle comic books stacked neatly on his desk.

All of it so fleeting. All of it evaporating like mist before a rising sun.

I closed the door and stood in the hallway. Coming from my room I could hear his soft snore. Even now it is like grasping mercury, but I have to remember. I have to cherish it all.