The night before his last school day, I changed his diaper and talked to him about it all, how he was going to be an 8th grader and how he is such a big boy now. You get used to it, the silence. I fill the air with words because I believe that Richy is listening on the inside, and I think there's a repository of knowledge and words and an understanding of my quiet hopes that lies inside him, waiting for something. He sits, sometimes, with a knowing smirk.
And I wait, too. The sun rises and falls and he is the same, and I quiet my hopes and my darkest fears, just to be with him, to enjoy him, to be okay with the stillness. Time passes and we wait.
He will become a man and still be a child. Maybe someday we will unlock him and he'll tell us what it feels like to be a human time capsule. Until then, we wait.