lamar kevin

“Mutti,” Lamar Kevin said, and I loved it when he called me that, “Can you help me with this homework?”


I bent over to see what he was working on, and he surprised me by grabbing at the cloth of my shirtsleeve. “Mutti?” he smiled and batted his blue eyes.  “Will you play some records?”


Of course, when your son looks at you like that, when he asks so sweetly, you have no choice. He looked just like his father.

The record player was ready to go. I’d been playing music on it every day when I was alone. It was a good accompaniment to doing things that didn’t let me think so much – like folding laundry and sweeping the floor. I dragged the needle to the beginning and clicked the start. A little Chubby Checker never hurt a person’s grades.


Lamar Kevin smiled at his papers and picked up his pencil bobbed with The Twist before the dull end landed in his mouth. His eyes lifted to my face and he caught me grinning at him.  I looked back at the crossword I’d been working on.


His tiny fingers were on my arm, tugging at me. “Dance, Mutti!”


We twisted like we’d never twisted before. Maybe like we’d never twist again. My cheeks hurt from smiling at my boy. At the end of the second round of “yeah, rock on now, yeah twist on down,” he threw his arms up and tumbled into me.


A kiss on his forehead and happy tears from the corner of my eyes, I crouched to his height and wrapped my arms around his little six-year-old body. Things weren’t so bad. Lamar Kevin was bigger than my heart – my chest was so full with him. He was safe and happy. And alive.




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