The boy, it turns out, is most likely not a figment. Various bills and messes and irretrievable hours of lost sleep attest to this. We are, the two of us, sitting on the stairs of the deck in the backyard of our house. I'm blowing bubbles and he's sticking his hand in the bubble juice, adding to the mess that he is making of himself. I swear he was mostly clean when we got home, but after digging for Elmo in the dirt of a freshly watered plant, he's caked in grime. It took him all of about 23 seconds to achieve this state. Not his record time, but respectable nonetheless.
This deck is one of my favorite places in the world, the very feature of the house that screamed "You must have me!" when we first laid eyes on this place. I saw visions of backyard grillfests, friends over for parties thrown for no reason at all, lazy afternoon beers, children running wild while grown folks sit around and talk grown folk talk. It's been host to all these things and then some, but with this ridiculous summer we're having, you can't be out here too much during the day. You have to wait until times like now when the sun is descending behind the trees and houses to our west. Then you can do things like sit on the stairs of the deck with a dirty baby boy and blow bubbles.
If I were a wiser man, I would spend more time being grateful for forgettable little moments like this.