It started when I picked up my 8 year old and held him. I don't get to do that much anymore, he being 60+ pounds and stretchy tall. Then came stories of him as a baby and his mommy and I holding him and dancing slowly in the living room to stop his crying. Then more stories. Remember where the crib was? Remember when we moved the crib from your room to your little bother's before he was even born? Remember when mommy would fall asleep reading you stories? And so on we three boys telling stories of someone living in our memories.
Daddy," said my five-year-old, "we should make a machine to bring Mommy back to life."
"I'd love that," I said holding back tears.
"We could run it on her birthday next year."
"Yeah. I wish we could do that," I said no longer holding back tears. And for a moment, a merest fraction of a moment, I was ready to run to the hardware store and start buying parts for the machine. And then the merest fraction of a moment ended.
The five-year-old ran to his room and a few minutes later came back with his drawing of the machine to bring back mommy on her next birthday. It's taped to the wall in our hallway.
And I think of the fantastical machines Leonardo designed to fly in the sky like birds and swim under water like fish and am awed by the genius mind of a five-year-old.