Is there a point when father will be able to see the sort of man his son will become? He looks for it, listens. Only six months old now, so many options ahead. So many choices and experiences that’ll shape him. Right now all he seems to care about is the snow. Can feel him moving around, tiny shoulders against his back, reaching for flakes. Simon coos. Dad listens for a hint there, in those soft sounds. But there’s nothing, just a baby being a baby.
“Do you like the snow, buddy?” he asks, then wonders should he call him that? Maybe he should have used his name. Using a nickname might confuse him. Is my name Simon or Buddy? “You warm enough, Simon?” he asks. Of course he won’t answer, not for another half year or more.
Snow crunches underfoot in that certain silence only found in a fresh fall. The nearby stream a muted gurgle. The occasional bird call gets caught in the snow, pulled down, and lost. The snow seems to say, “Slow down, relax, breath, calm yourself.” Unlike rain, the snow is silent. Both water, but so different.
“Maybe that’s like you, huh?” he bounces his son. “Maybe you and all the other children are drops of water, rain, or snow, or steam, or a billion other things. What’ll you be?” No reply besides more coos and gibberish. Hey, he’s trying though. Already seems to understand the idea behind the flow of conversation. I say a thing, then you say a thing. “I don’t know what any of that means, Simon, but I hope you’ll tell me soon.” Steps over a fallen tree. About time to head back. Get a mug of hot cocoa, mmhm, that’ll be nice. Sit on the porch with mom while she feeds Simon. Wrap up in the electric blanket. He smiles. Having a family is weird, the best kind of weird.