The light was pulsating. The grass gleaming now that it was spring. It gleamed. The wind and the light gleamed.
“Gleam on, grass,” she said.
“Gleam on,” he son repeated. They drove on toward the store, her son looking out the window.
“Who is I, Mummy?” he asked.
“You are you and I am me. I is also the one who is singing the song. When I am singing, I am I and when you are singing, you are I. Does that make sense?” He met her eyes in the mirror, nodded.
“How can I ever explain I properly?” she asked. Her son said nothing, hummed. “Perhaps, I am a simpleton,” she said. “I. I. I.” And then another thought for I.
“I is for ice cream,” she said. “We must buy some. We must buy ice cream and milk and cream for Mummy’s coffee.”
“And ice cream,” he said.
She taught him the rhyme, watching his eyes in the rearview mirror: “You scream. I scream. We all scream for ice cream.”
“I scream,” he said. She smiled and winked at him as he bucked his legs up and down, excited.
At the grocery store, she unstrapped him from his seat, hugged him tight.
“Gleam on,” she said.
“Gleam on,” he repeated.
Give me my child, she thought, cradling his head in her hand. Let me take him in my arms and hold him. That is where we are best, when we are next to each other.
Your foot on my leg. Your hand on my face. Your breath in my nose.