21.1.18 Snow day. Back garden.
Two quiet people living together is a thing all its own. When one of you is thirty six and the other nine and a half, it's another thing again.
I feel like it has always been just us two. It hasn't, of course, but nearly eight years is still most of his life, and in many respects, it's been most of mine too. We have grown quietly together.
I do not know what is nature and what is nurture, but he has always been a happy but subdued child, never wanting to wander far. He didn't figure out how to make sounds come together in the right way till he was almost five, and although there have always been, and still are, days of long chatter, it is usually of the earnest kind that only comes after long thought. It comes interspersed with sudden laughter that lights him up like you've blown oxygen right through him and it is all the more special for the fact it's hard-won. His energy comes out through focus and passion, as does mine, although each of us is different in that. He gets his fire through things that align and provide safe, solid worlds to walk in - through order and rightness and rules and systems - me, by curiously pulling everything apart and making whole new ones. When his day stumbles, he dissolves in loud and sudden panic, his body and his mind making a firework of him. He marvels at my calm and thinks it some kind of magic. One day, he'll know there are different kinds of storms.
He spends a lot of time lost in thought, in music and film and games, and has a gentleness and patience in his way with other people that makes my breath catch. The way he talks to the cat when he thinks no one is listening would tell you everything you need to know about how much heart runs through him. He is my devoted, frowning, careful professor, and the contrast to my easy, wilful silliness and playful rebellions makes him shake his head at me: "Muum." Whereas I am endlessly enamoured and excited by the world, he is suspicious of it, and there is conflict in that at times, in his rigid, unbending certainty and in my goofy, forgetful abstraction, but we do ok. He brings a steady hand and I bring wide eyes.
And through all that, we make a life. We talk a lot, but we spend more time still saying nothing at all in a way that is warm and close, each often lost in something different, side by side. Like me, he is drawn to touch and even now, grown tall, will keep orbiting back to wrap arms around my waist, to push forehead against my cheek, and stay like that awhile.
We are most ourselves on Sundays, our most quiet and absorbed and our most loving. Today, snow fell and I let it coat my dressing gown as I blundered around the garden with my camera and he watched me through the window with an old smile.