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  • There was a time not so long ago when all the pictures of Xeno were taken by me, or by his mom. We were there with him. Often Yuma was in the picture too, but this time she took the picture. One time when Yuma was a baby I took both of them to the Indianapolis Children's Museum and I had to go into the men's room to change her diaper. I told Xeno, who was three or four, to stand next to me and not move. When I had cleaned Yuma up, a task that demanded all my attention, Xeno was gone. It's a good thing this was before cell phones because I would have called Liz and she would have never let me go anywhere with them ever again. Xeno was not far, looking at some crazy mouse-trap machine. He hadn't missed me at all, but missing him had made the two minutes or so I spent looking for him last a very long time.

    I don't know if he misses me now or even if I miss him, now that he can go wherever he wants, with whomever he wants. I feel that all of us are always missing each other, often even when we are together. He takes care of his sister because I tell him he must. Rather he takes care of her, as much as she'll allow that, and I tell him he must. He would take care of her whatever I said. Just as he takes care of his best friend Jeremy. Everyday they go to the YMCA together and lift weights so that they will be fearsome, but they are not very fearsome, just strong like oxen. I am happy to see them go off by themselves, and they are happy to be together, independent, free, but still protected. Very soon they will both go further away, and further apart, but they will, as Adrienne Rich says, use what they know and what they have to make what they need. So we hope.
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