The temperature peaked above 30 degrees Celsius. The sun beat down, challenging any amount of lathered on sunscreen. Our air-conditioner-free apartment started to bake. It was time to pull out the sandals and shorts for Colin.
He often runs around our place in shorts, or even just a diaper, no problem. But he's always worn pants when I've taken him out, mostly due to cooler weather, but also to protect those beautiful smooth cream-coloured knees.
The sandals are new. He only ever wears one pair of shoes, but today it was just too hot for socks and shoes.
His outfit was adorable, with his beige ballcap, brightly coloured striped t-shirt, shorts too long (reaching just above the knees, but often falling below that), and little brown sandals.
The trouble started on the walk down the hall. The weight, size and feel of the shoes were new and were throwing him a little off balance. He kept glancing down to find his footing, racing ahead too fast and tripping over himself again.
We had to walk down 50 feet of cold, hard concrete sidewalk to get to the car. We had passed the halfway mark when it happened. One toe caught the other, and down he went. My hand shot out, too slow.
Colin scraped his knee.
He was down for only a moment when, encouraged by my words, he pushed himself back up to standing. He stared at me with wide eyes. I knelt down to inspect the damage, pulling back the ends of the shorts. There on his right knee the cream-coloured skin had been gently sraped away to reveal a small white patch (truly no bigger than a nickle).
I smothered a proud grin long enough to answer his outstretched arms by scooping him up into my own. There was no more fuss about it from either of us, but I document the moment here. I myself was a child of bumps and bruises and scrapes, and I know this will only be the beginning. I feel an extra kinship with my son today.