Soft hands cover his, time-worn and calloused.
The trouble they’ve been through, this boy and him. The things they’ve shared. And lost.
Eye to eye, they stand. Two years tops, before he’ll be craning his neck to do this. Still, fourteen’s too early for baptism into manhood. Too early to carry them both through what lies ahead.
But you can’t always be the rock. And fragility can beget strength. If, sometimes, the son becomes the father, they could be each other’s ballast.
He clutches the boy’s hands, ‘We’ll come through this.’
For now, that’s enough.