In the dark he recites everything he knows. “THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. How now brown cow? ELEVENTEEN!”
Eleventeen. The number all children seem to know about, the number that goes with training-wheels and string cheese.
I sit by him and he sings to me.
The song is about minnows, an octopus, and a whale, but mostly just an octopus. A salmon made a surprise guest appearance (he wasn’t on the Playbill).
“The octopus ate the salmon, and the salmon didn’t taste so gooood and the octopus is fat and not healthy and squirts ink and…”
I interrupt the Octopi Opus five minutes into it to ask about new friends. “I only played with the girls, because I noticed them and I thought they were cute.”
Help me. He’s three.
We sit on the bed and talk, his fingers touching my hair, secrets spilling. Secrets about big computer toys and dinosaurs in the sand. He tells me about tag on the playground and how he was the fastest one. “It’s the shoes,” he nods.
I swallow each word with a gulp until I’m so full of laughter I might actually laugh out loud and spoil the whole thing. It’s then that I kiss him and he kisses me, and I tell him the day sounded busy.
“Yep. I’m a busy BEEEEEE!” he cries and flings himself onto the pillow, feet in the air.
I smile and realize that sometimes bees are more than just busy. Sometimes they’re funny bees and sweet bees, bees that sing hour long songs about sea creatures, preschool bees. They carry secrets and jokes, not just honey. They are sticky faced, wonderful, gold.
Then they fly away.