there is a reason

Tonight my cousin came by to say goodbye before she moves away to California to start a new life. She used to live with my parents, but I haven’t seen her in over a year.

She sat on the floor and met the baby and played with the Chipmunk. He hid from her, acted up, danced around.

Then he sat on the floor and methodically squeezed car after car after car. Turn. Turn. Turn. Drop. Turn. Turn. Turn. Drop.

“I need to squeeze them,” he told her. She smiled and squeezed them too.

Two weeks ago we struggled to get him to leave his older cousin’s house.

“I need to squeeze these cars first,” he wailed. “I NEED TO.”

So we waited five more minutes until he finished the whole pile. Turn. Turn. Turn. Flick the wheels four times. Drop. And so on.

And so on.

Oh, little boy. I wish I could understand. Sometimes it makes me smile, and other times I worry about you. It looks comforting, it does. But. But. But.

I know you’re soothing yourself, but why? Are you nervous? Are you scared? Are you sad?

I find myself wanting to squeeze too, to pick things up and feel them. I find myself wanting to pick you up, to squeeze you and hide you in my arms.

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