Zay and I are in the side garden. Pulling weeds. Watching the sky shift gray.
"The rain is comin'" I say.
Zay smiles and plucks something that's tall and willowy and green.
I chase creeping charlie. Around the bush. Close to the house.
Then the drops come. Sweet and slow. The sky darkens. The wind picks up and rustles the leaves. There's a hint of fall, an edge of cool.
"Yep," Zay says. And he's busy again. Pulling weeds. Helping me. He's crouched low and I see the curve of his back, his small toes curled into soft dirt and what's left of the mulch.
The raindrops come faster. They're heavy and make small, dark stains on the back of his shirt.
"Let's go," I say. And suddenly we're dodging drops, running forward, hand in hand, around the porch, through the yard.
Then Zay stops. He's spied a dandelion, lone and tall. He grasps the very bottom of the stem. Pulls. Now it's clutched in his hand.
He straightens. Pushes his gift toward me. And smiles. "Will you marry me?" he asks.
The wind is whipping my hair and his shirt is billowing and we're now standing in the rain.
"Yes," I say.
I say this because he's five and we're together and a storm is rolling in. Soon he'll be too big for such things. Soon he'll have it all figured out. But today his heart is mine.
And I'm going to hold tight.
He hands me the dandelion, grabs my other hand, and we bolt to the house. The door closes behind us, and we're safe together inside.
Lord, thank you for the pure sweetness of a little boy's heart. Thank you, for that a short time, it's mine to hold.