It strikes me so funny that you've turned 11, my dear youngest child, because 11:11 has always been your magic time.
When this grip of 11:11 got a hold on you, I can't remember. But it seems like for always you'd look up at the digital clock, wait for it to flip to 11:11, and then BAM, you'd say "11:11! Mama, time to do something magic!" And somehow, you always would -- just by looking at me with that smile, you would make my heart melt. Magic.
I remember a morning in summer, driving home from the pool, nothing on but our wet swimsuits and you saw the blue numbers on the car's dashboard blink to 11:11. "Mama! It's 11:11! Do something different!"
And so I would. I'd honk the horn, I'd steer with my knees while I clapped, I'd do anything for you to work your magic on me. I'd put my hat on backwards and pretend to drool and you'd laugh that laugh that would make my eyes sting with happy tears. Yes. 11:11. Magic.
You're 11 now.
That magic number 11.
11 is you still holding my hand.
11 is still able to fit together in a movie theatre seat with you.
11 is you, who still calls me mama.
And 11 is the time of magic unseen, but I can feel.
Just like you telling me, "Mama! It's 11:11! Do something different!"
And so you do.
11 is you asking me to pack away the bedspread of dragons that you picked out for your room not so many years ago.
11 is you choosing to go with your oldest brother on rides now, instead of automatically reaching for my hand.
11 is me surprising you with a visit at school lunch time, and you thanking me for coming, then asking if it's all right if you go play with your friends, though.
Of course it's all right that you play with your friends. And that we picked out a solid orange new bedspread for your room. It's also actually good that you want to do things with your big brother now, really. He leaves for school in only a year's time.
You're 11 now. That magic number of 11. And you work that magic every time you sneak downstairs after you've gone to bed, and see me sitting here in the computer's white light. You stand behind me, your arms encircling my neck as you bend over to kiss me, and I feel your hot breath against my ear. I close my eyes and hear you whisper, "Mama, it's 11:11! Do something magic!"
Oh, I wish I could, son, but you've already beat me to it.
**I love you, Auggie. Happy Birthday, my beautiful boy.
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