It’s sunny in LA and in the low 60s.
It’s snowing in Ann Arbor and in the upper 20s.
But my son doesn’t understand any of this. Time and place are things he has not yet connected with as operating separately from himself. Time is the time we share together, and place is wherever Brody is.
When someone leaves, he has no idea where they go, only that they are not here. We talk about other houses, and he can point to where the neighbor children live, but he does not yet have that notion that they might be doing something at the same moment as him.
And so it was hard this morning when he woke up and wanted to see his Uncle Darren. I told him Uncle Darren had gone, but Brody did not believe me. He walked his little rumpled self down to the basement door, and sat with Sam Lamb, waiting for Uncle Darren.
Eventually, he sniffled a little bit. Uncle Darren was not coming, because Uncle Darren had to go to his house. I tried explaining to Bro that Uncle Darren would be back, and that right now he had things to do at his home. Bro repeated after me, “Home.” And then he looked up at me, smiling, “Uncle Darren home.”
What I had not realized is that, for Brody, place is perhaps more complex then I had originally assumed. Home is not a place on a map, but a place where love resides.
I touched Bro’s heart and he giggled. “Home?” I asked him. He did not answer me. He simply walked into the living room with Sam and chased our littlest golden around laughing.
And so Bro was right: Uncle Darren had not gone, he was home.