As I'm putting Ollie to bed, I can hear the animated rise and fall of Ethan's voice. I go out to get some water and find Ethan and his daddy sitting at the table, Ethan eating a snack before bed.
"What are you guys talking about?" I ask, although Ethan's voice is the only one I heard. "It sounds important."
"It is. Really important, actually," Ethan says. "It's about Zelda number two."
He spends fifteen minutes walking his daddy through the gameplay that he and his uncle Adam did last week while Noah was at work.
He's so bright. So vibrant. Becoming more complex every day. His inner life is leading him beyond what I know of him, and we spend all our days together. Just this morning we had a big conversation about the words we use and how they can hurt people after he said something in anger.
He's stepping into the role of big brother now that Oliver's personality is emerging. He sees that Oliver watches him, learns from him, delights in him.
"Mommy, when is Ollie going to be growed up?" He means when can Ollie talk and play with him.
The baby already dances and laughs and coos when Ethan's around. He's only five months, in the prime time for that delicious warm baby aroma that I wish I could smell forever, but I see him already looking outward, away from my breast and heartbeat, toward the big, bright, noisy, exciting world that Ethan is part of.
"Too soon," I say, feeling like the luckiest mother who ever was. Surely nobody loves their kids as much as I love mine. Because if they did, there's more love in the universe than I would have thought possible.
God, it seems, is gracious.