Gingerbread colored. Brown-eyed. Black rimmed Sean John glasses with fingerprints and chocolate stains on the lenses are tucked behind fox ears. Red earphones hanging out of one ear so he can hear Mom with the other, and tap, tap, tap on an I-phone with long, thin fingers, never mind he’s off to middle school, not corporate America. His short, dark brown, curly hair that he’s always threatening to grow long enough to mat into dreadlocks or weave into cornrows is brushed neatly. The edge of his hairline is tapered down even around light, reddish brown sideburns. A hint of a moustache is sprouting just in time to accommodate the one or two hairs forming on his chin.
He is slim with developing muscular definition though his interest in weight lifting is just about as strong as his delight in doing algebraic equations. Long arms and legs are just right for someone who is always using them to grab for something out of reach like a basketball rim even though I’ve told him a million times to stop because he might hurt himself.
School uniform clad in khakis and a maroon polo shirt, he jumps out of the car. “Bye, Mom,” he says. Startled by the deep voice, I look at the nearly six foot tall little boy. He smiles. Listens as the young man next to him talks. His face lights up, his cheeks become full, and though I am behind him now, watching him walk into the building, I know he is laughing.