The boy darts around the park. At the moment he’s a superhero protecting London. Soon he’ll be a doctor like his aunt. He kicks up leaves as his stubby legs attempt to run.
He’s adorable, Ella thinks, and most importantly he exists. They all exist.
The park is crowded, yet Ella and her son have an empty field to run in. She glides along beside her son, waiting for him to smack clumsily into the leaves. To her surprise, his unusually proportioned body keeps him upright.
The weather is just right. It’s not hot enough to apply sunscreen and all she needs to wear is a light sweater to keep comfortable. Her blackberry is back in the car and she feels liberated from the buzzing she knew would never stop. Work could wait. The rest of her non-important life would be put on hold for this day, in this park, where all the dogs enjoyed to be pet.
“Mommy,” his tiny voice sequels. Dimples erupt, and Ella whips him into her arms, showering kisses. He giggles and basks in the attention.
Her son and his beautiful smile let Ella know anything she ever doubted was absolutely incorrect. This unconditional love could not be replicated or released. Her whole world had shifted, both slowly and as imminent and immediate as the big bang. But she wasn’t just coping, she was thriving.
“Luv ou,” he whispers in her ear as if it’s the best thing he could ever say, and it is.
Once upon a time she had rejected life. Swore it off and claimed it wasn’t her. The decision to be a mother wasn’t right for everyone, but it was right for her. After all the pain and sorrow she had seen, surrendering herself to uninterrupted joy was the way to live.
“I love you too,” Ella replies. The three words come off her tongue easily now, naturally.
And so with her son ruining his new white shift, they continue blissfully into the next stages of life.