It was that time. Mamae said so. And half the times she didn’t even have to tell him. He just *knew.* He pattered over to the door, curls bouncing, arms flailing. He tripped, knees and hands scraping on the rug. He felt soft hands on his sides. “No! I can!” He heard the soft chuckle behind him as he haphazardly pulled himself to stand.
He finished his race to the door as it opened. He bounced in place, giggling as Papae walked though. “Papae papae!” he chanted, reaching up, grasping the air until his wish was granted.
Giggling from his scratchy kisses, he left kisses on his cheek in turn, then wrapped his arms around his neck, nuzzling his face into his skin. He smelled like the sea and he felt warmth of the sun against his cheek.
He reflexively smiled when he heard his voice: soft, gentle, always warm. The days events bubbled out of him: half finished sentences and mashed up words, but not once did Papae ever looked away or frown. “Ar lath ma, papae,” he would always finish his stories with and his favorite part of each day was hearing him say it back.