This morning son the older and I had a tiff. He was having trouble with a piece of equipment, and I, eating breakfast and reading the paper, was annoyed at the interruption. I too had a bit of trouble with the recalcitrant hardware but with a moment of focused attention resolved the issue. You just didn’t try, I said.
I walked out on his cry of outrage, only to walk back in a moment later. I’m sorry, I said, I shouldn’t have taken on your problem. The next time I know you will find the solution yourself.
He goes to the piano then and plays for a while. When he stops I go to him. He is still upset. I wrap my arms around his unyielding body. I hug harder, then step back to look him in the eye. I pour all my love into my gaze and after a moment, his shoulders relax and he steps into my embrace, puts his head on my shoulder.
I lean my head against his and we stand for a long moment. His hair against my cheek, he breathes into my neck.