Thousands and Thousandths

Finn decidedly unwore his backpack on the way out of pre-school today, the backpack being as big as he was. Even when I knotted the straps around his waist and held his hand out the door, he shrugged the monkey-themed rucksack down past his shoulders, and preferred me to hoist him in a crooked arm. He alternately waved to everyone, else sucked his thumb while we made our way through the melee of first-day-of-school curbside parents.

Cayden skipped along behind, excitedly talking about math and Spanish; it was ninety degrees out and we had to walk five blocks to our car, parked up on Broadway and near the taco shop. Finn happened to see his mom, herself dismissing class out in front of the school. For five blocks it was: “Mama! Mama! Mama! I held Finn’s backpack while he reached a hand out back towards Jenn, who was dutifully matching students to parents and abuelitas, all the Sherman Heights neighborhood in one place collecting their children.

It was really hot, and by the time we arrived at the car, Finn was limp on my shoulder, his ‘mamas’ having expired. A few minutes into the drive, the AC having kicked in, I asked Cayde: ‘Wait–how was school again?’ He talked about thousands and thousandths, and that his teacher was “pretty wild”. Finn was complacent in the back seat in a fresh school uniform and I remembered when he was born, when our pediatrician draped him across her forearm in the recovery room, his blood already pooling in an imperfect heart, so sleepy in the first shows of congestive failure that the fact of anything outside his diagnosis was uncertain. Then he woke up, heart tightened, and so did we, and I had to fairly hurl Finn into the carseat today because he’s now so heavy. I did so outside the taco shop that has our favorite chile verde burrito; outside the taco shop where Cayde kept excitedly talking about the thousands and thousandths places, and where, while buckling Finn in and thinking of all the chances, I had to agree with the math.

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