The Best Thing That Ever Was

He smiles at me expectantly, with his eyes cocked sideways towards me and his mouth half open, like he’s listening to a long and complicated joke that’s just about reached its punchline. I look at him and smile and he throws his head back and opens his mouth as far and as wide as he can, joy exploding on his face, the same way his momma does on rare and wonderful occasions. I smile again, hoping to egg him into another one, but he furrows his brow as if to say, “Not yet, old man.” And just when I’ve about given up hope he does it one more time. We repeat this several times as I change his diaper. In a few years I’ll have to remind him to keep his voice down because its late and his laughter tends to wake up his mother, maybe his siblings (if there will be any) and most likely the neighbors as well. His voice will carry and he won’t notice it. It will take constant reminding to keep from offending people. Just like his dad. But for now, whether there is noise or silence, I see him smile and I think to myself, “this is the best thing that ever was.”