A few minutes later, bending on one knee and rearranging the cupboards, I spot a pair of very little running shoes standing before me. Looking up and staring me in the eye is a two-foot-high replica of the young man who left a few minutes earlier. I catch my breath -- the same blond hair sticking out under the ball cap, the plaid shirt, and the smallest pair of blue jeans I have ever seen. Yet, I think this can't be his child, the young man hardly looks beyond child-age himself.
As he re-arranges the cupboards. I make eye-level conversation with his replica. The child is a bit shy but surprisingly responsive. I ask him his name. He murmurs, "Gerrit". And the young man is indeed his Daddy. Incredible, either I am as old as antiquity, or parents are younger now. Surely I didn't look this young when I had my four children in my early and mid-twenties. Yet, I must have been near his age.
Finally, with a couple of cupboard doors in one hand and the child's hand in the other, I watch them head home -- two silhouettes backlit by the evening sun. Their elongating shadows ripple the sidewalk. The father skips, adjusting his steps to little steps. The tiny jeans bulging out cause a waddle. Diapers, without a doubt.
I wonder at the miracle, of kids having kids and of what the great spirit in her wisdom trusts us with. The child looks up to the father, maybe asking him a question. He knows his Daddy has the answer, yes, all the answers. He is supposedly god-wise and totally to be trusted. This young parent in blue jeans, plaid shirt, and ball cap is the beloved...