my friend has a little boy whose head looks like it’s five times too large for his body. i’m pretty sure that’s why he wobbles when he walks. he’s one-and-a-half and cherub-cheeked and gives off that sweet baby smell. (except when he gets that furrowed-brow look of concentration on his face.)(which means he’s in the process of unloading.)(yeah, we all did that once.)
a few nights ago, after too much ordered-in chinese food, his parents and i sat outside with our cups of hot tea warming our hands. cherub-cheeks was still resisting sleep despite his now fowl toddler temper and leaden but gravity-defying eyelids. he had already been denied several “up” requests and was now squirming restlessly between us—distracted every two seconds.
but suddenly, all two-and-three-quarters-feet of him stood straight up and leaning slightly forward like a pointer dog. eyes wide, he shot a chubby finger towards the night sky. i looked in the direction of his pointing and saw only my hanging plant. “plant?” i asked, “leaves?” he shook his head no and kept his position. i looked again, half-interested. “building?” he shook his head again. i think he was a little disappointed in me.
so i looked yet again (this time squinting my eyes). and finally, i saw what he saw: far, far-away in the distant distance were the flickering white lights of an airplane. now i know little boys have an idiosyncratic fascination with vehicular transportation. but how the hell did that get his attention?
my friend explained that he’s apparently made it part of his baby vocation to point out every single aircraft that traverses the l.a. skies. ok, but thousands of feet up, through hanging plants, city lights, trees, and the cover of darkness?
he kept pointing upward until i finally responded, “aah, yes. plane.”
and he breathed a relieved, satisfied baby sigh. it was a wonder to him. a miracle. and i, too, had witnessed it.
i think i want to be able to spot airplanes in the distance, too.