Turning Over

My son is crying.

He is lying on his side, his back arched like a bow. He is trying like a madman to turn onto his stomach. I am lying on the bed, only inches away from him. And. I. Am. Doing. Nothing.

It would be really easy for me to take his hand and pull him the rest of the way over. It would be a simple matter for me to pivot his hip and let gravity do the rest. Ninety-eight percent of me wants to do exactly that. The other two percent tells me that doing it would rob him of his first real achievement. And so I do nothing but bear witness to my child trying and crying.

Trying and crying.

Trying and crying.


And crying.

And when the ninety-eight percent has almost built enough courage to revolt and take action, I scoop my son up in my arms, cradling him to silence his tears.

“It’s all right,” I tell him. “We’ll try again tomorrow.”

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