by tracybanaszynski

H holds a cardboard tube from an empty paper towel roll in one hand and the orange triangle piece from his sailboat puzzle in the other. He carefully fits the triangle into the cardboard tube and peers inside to see where it has gone. He reaches his hand in to retrieve it, but his arm gets stuck instead. He flaps his arm, and the tube, up and down while looking at me with delight. I make a slight move to help him free his arm, but he removes the tube with ease and notices the orange triangle on the floor. He picks it up and works again at putting it in the tube. It takes him a few tries before he is successful, but when he is he knows to look for the triangle on the floor. He retrieves the orange shape and fits it easily into the tube again and then again. He works on this task repetitively and with intense focus while I sit, mesmerized, watching him. Everything around us is quiet and still. And then just as suddenly as he started it, H finishes this project. The cardboard tube and the orange triangle piece clatter to the ground, jolting me back into my body, and time speeds up again. H is already crawling off to the next thing and, after a beat, I follow.