The yellow of the school bus rounding the corner popped against a truly blue sky. And my dour wintry spirits lifted, too, sniffing hopefully towards spring.
Tonight, walking home from picking up Ethan at Hebrew School, for the first time in forever it was not completely pitch black night at 6 pm. Ethan and his friend, our next door neighbor whose mom I “foot-pool” with, were busy talking their 9 year-old-boy-talk of video games interspersed with mock battles that threatened to engulf the sidewalk-sharing passersby.
I just didn’t have the energy to scold, hoped no bodily harm was being done, walked three paces ahead with Jacob on my arm, ever chivalrous.
Jake and I had one of our typical conversations the whole way home, he repeating the same three or four questions over and over, never ceasing in his delight at the correct-to-his-mind answers I doggedly offer back.
And while the topics often skew to the obvious, they also occasionally delight and surprise.
Jake was talking a lot about the earth and the sky tonight, impressed, as was I, by the moon playing peekaboo with us between the tall buildings. It was in between phases, not quite crescent yet shy of half full, and fuzzy about the edges, giving it a soft, somewhat unearthly glow, as if we'd slipped into a Maxfield Parrish painting.
"Where is the planet, Mom, where is the earth?" Jake asked. And I assured him we were walking upon it, each and every time.
"When you were dead, before you were a baby, did you live in the sky, Mommy?"
OK, didn't expect THAT one.
A complex and somewhat... unusual cosmological concept going on here. A moment's reflection upon his current Japanimation obsession, though, solved the mystery of its origin.
In the DragonBall-Z-Kai universe, people are always dying and being brought back to life, and hanging out on a platform in the sky while waiting for that to happen.
Explaining the improbability of all that to my autistic son was quite beyond my ken tonight, so I just waived my hand in the air and proclaimed it to be a bunch of "made-up TV story nonsense" and not the stuff of real life.
He smiled indulgently, knowing how much more real his beloved Goku and Piccolo are than I will ever know, and, as we were on our block, no more streets to cross, ran the rest of the way home, West toward the fast-fading, last pink echo at the horizon.
I trudged behind, watching the evening's first stars emerge, casting their fuzzy glow about the sky; setting down, one in front of the other, my feet upon this planet, following my boy home.
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