It was dark when I arrived home tonight, and unbuckled Ted from his carseat, hooking his bags over my arms. We paused in the garden before heading up the stairs towards the house, and I pointed up to the sky. “Look up there, Ted – can you see the stars?” His head tilted back, nestled in next to mine and he gazed upwards with his mouth open, his warm breath puffing on my cheek smelling of milk and the strawberries he’d just eaten. The faint light from the house was shining in his eyes and he had an expression of astounded wonder on his face which he gets several times a day (generally while looking at rather more prosaic things). Seeing that expression is one of my favourite things in the world. It makes my heart ache.
“Ahhh! Baaah!” he exclaimed, waving his arm excitedly upwards. “That’s the Milky Way. And that… I think that’s part of Orion. Aren’t they beautiful?” He repeated his “baaaaah” which I took as agreement, and then he turned away, distracted by the sound of the frogs calling from the dam, moment of wonder at an end. We walked up the stairs, unlocked the door, and went inside.