The legs of his pants cling to his calves, so soaked are they with water. There are three pans laid out in a semi-circle around him. With a lid in each hand -- that he strode with determination and purpose into the kitchen to fetch -- he alternates putting them on one of the pans. First the small one, then the larger, then small again, making a satisfying plunking as he plunges it in the water.
I crawl down to the ground and sit, scooping water in a pitcher and transferring it to a small cup in front of him. He blinks. He wraps long slender fingers around the handle and contemplates this sloshiness. He blinks again. With visible effort to hold his hand steady, he first looks to the pan on the left. Then, slowly, turning to the right. Decision made, he extends his arm and rotates his bird wrists. He has a plan. I'm not privy to the designs he has sketched out in his mind, only witness to his quiet contemplation.
This is his favorite thing to do. First thing in the morning, at the end of the day as I struggle to make dinner, and at all moments in between, my water baby bangs on the porch door and points to the pans through the window. Once he has one in his hands he holds it aloft to me with eyes wide and blue. "Eh!" he says. "Water please," I hear.
When he's old enough to speak, I'll ask him what he remembers about his birth. If he remembers the quickly-cooling bath water, if he can recall the slippery wet of mama's chest, the plink-plink-plink from the faucet. If each drop, then and now, brings us closer to who he is. What he's made of.
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