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  • My son emptied both of his pockets onto the kitchen counter. Candy wrappers, spent cap gun rounds, Molly's phone number, a rock, and blueprints for a tree house scrawled by various hands of boys in the 8-9 year old age bracket are pulled one at a time from the deep recesses of his day. His pockets are treasure troves of wonder for me. I piece together his shedding thoughts by asking him about this small gathering of boy droppings.

    "Who's Molly?" I ask.
    "Mom, I don't know why she gives me her phone number! She just does! OK?!" he replies.
    Clueless. So clueless.

    He really comes alive when I ask him about the tree house schematics.
    He says "Yeah! We're building this in the back yard! See, at the bottom these are all the tools we need to get started! We...there...must...I..." and off he goes into a stream of far reaching plans for the next settlement of boys intent on doing away with nail clippings and haircuts. Forever.

    One day this will all change, I know. He will be a hairy, grown man stretching above my head. Quite possibly he will be a man with a wallet, this mysterious inner sanctum of men, in one of his back pockets. A little bit of my heart breaks when I consider the picture I.D.'s of tidy haircuts and pictures of loved ones yet to be known, money, credit cards, a donor card, a voter registration card, and the vast array of worldly expectations accumulating on sliding slips of paper.

    How will all the small, foldable moments of this natural and necessary journey to himself and away from my womb fit into just a back pocket?
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