we were meant to skip the neighborhood flea that day. we were en route to the governors island ferry, but our trains weren't running for the weekend, and so we'd decided to stop for shop coffees and walk across central park to meet the east side trains. i spotted it from one block away, small and shining, bright as a cherry, tucked between oil paintings and worn baseball bats and a brown wooden horse. for the cost of two lattes, it could be ours. his. theirs. and so we spoke without words in the way that parents do and handed over the bills and made our merry voyage home, papa strolling boy, mama clutching tricycle, grown men, once little, a happy-hearted chorus chiming congratulations! and oh, wow! all along the way.
(prelude to boyhood.)