When you ask him about sports, he’ll raise his blue eyes to mine and press his lips together. I’ll nod to assure him it’s safe, he’s okay, this isn’t the school lunch table where the kids can taunt.
“I dance,” he’ll say. “Ballet. This year I’m doing hip hop and tap and jazz, too, but ballet is my favorite.”
Try as you might, progressive thinker that you are, modern and open-minded for all the decades you carry, your eyebrows will move up a quarter of an inch.
“Oh!” You’ll tilt your head and hopefully you’ll smile. For a heartbeat you’ll spin through a lexicon of words and phrases, seeking the correct positive acknowledgment.
And I’ll hold my breath as your eyes meet mine over his shaggy blonde head of hair, a wordless prayer as we wait for the moment of reaction. What does one say to a seven year old boy who is built for carrying a football but wears ballet shoes?