He's Mine and He's Not

Steven and I watch Nick's baseball game at a park just down the street from where we lived when it was just the two of us, in the pre-Perry era. The last time I sat on these bleachers, Steven was Nick's size and Nick begged to play on the swings.

Steven uses his Calculus book as a hard surface to write words in his left-handed, cursive scrawl. The sun shines through a massive slate grey cloud, through a nearby tree, and dapples his skin with the soft light of early evening.

I scoot his way and ask if he'll indulge me with a photo. He agrees without hesitation and if he rolls his eyes, I don't see it. He shares his work, a draft plan for the leadership newsletter and the internal television station for next fall, the beginning of his senior year. I burst with pride and I ache with love. He's mine and he's not, simultaneously.