If you ever had a 9 year old boy you know what I mean. They want to be big boys and often let us know in many ways how big they are. But then there are those moments when you see the little boy innocence that you know one day will end.
My 9 year old likes to go out with his b-b gun and hunt pigeons. He's not afraid of snakes or frogs. He holds the door open for me. He is unusually attentive to my moods. I guess the baby of the family, the last of 8 children, has the opportunity to grow up a bit quicker.
But then he asks me, "Mom, can I ride the carousel?" He picks a black horse decorated with a red plume. He sits on it with such pride, around and around, and looks for me each time it circles. My eyes fill with tears as he smiles at me from ear to ear.
The end of innocence will come soon enough. But for now, I will bask in every moment as it comes.
Someone once told me, perhaps the brass ring everyone reaches for is the mother. I think it's true.