Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
They’re early for Mass, the Dad and his tiny son. The boy totes a plush Luigi from Super Mario Brothers. He wears black and neon yellow shoes that light up when he walks. When they stop at the pew, the boy’s fingers clutch the end as he kneels in a perfect genuflect, following his Dad’s example.
During the readings, he is less engaged. He sits with his knees up to his chin, tugs his red shirt down over his knees. He boxes himself in, pulling his arms in from his sleeves, and smiling up at his father. His father smiles back, then feels a wave of pressure that perhaps he should be exhibiting some discipline. He scans the neighboring old ladies–all beaming at the boy who has turned his t-shirt into a home. The dimple in his pre-school cheek will get him anywhere.
Later he frees himself, jumps up as the Our Father approaches. He delights in holding his Dad’s hand and mouthing the words he’s not too sure of yet. After the prayer, he knows it is time to shake hands with the adults around him, to say, “Peace Be With You.” His Dad nods toward an incredibly tall elderly man on their right. The tiny boy balances himself to take a few steps across the kneeler, cranes his neck all the way back and all the way up, and raises his tiny arm for a handshake. The man cranes himself down to wish the boy peace. As he lumbers back to his Luigi, to his place beside his father, blinking lights down the aisle, the boy seems peaceful indeed.