"Close my hand," my little guy says in the morning and at lunch and when he thinks of it.
Because his version of that phrase actually sounds more like hose sand, until today I thought he was asking to go to the beach.
He looks down at that hand and moves it with his right hand and seems to know now that there's something missing. He's doesn't display any anger or frustration (not yet anyhow), he's just puzzled I think.
He'll look up at me or his mother or sister and repeat the request until we can distract him with some other activity.
There's no way to explain it to the boy (not yet anyhow), and very little to do beyond what we are doing, but like the tax notice or the mortgage adjustment or the dental x-ray I knew was coming, that day is now.
There's a silver lining in all this of course. He's aware of that left hand, and so he'll try to use it more and more. Even though it's affected by his cerebral palsy, it belongs to him and knowing my little guy, he'll find a way to make it useful. Like any kid with a toy that's a little beyond his years, he'll fumble with it for a bit until that day that he learns to make it do what he wants it to do.
But that knowledge that his early days held back like the warm days hold back the frost is now settling in upon him. I can't hold it back. I can't bring back the forgetful summer.
I wish he had more time to be innocent. I wish those little shoulders didn't have to heave up that load so early. I wish I could make it easier for him. As vain as those wishes are, I wish them.
He's a strong boy though. And more tough minded than some adults I work with. I know too he'll do what he has to do; I know there are a village of people standing just behind him and beside him. He'll be all right.