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He’s not quite two but already he’s got the mad scientist laugh down pat. “Ma ha ha ha ha ha,” he says, a massive toddler, head the size of a volleyball, arms and legs stubby and squat and sturdy.

“He’s going to be the creepiest kid in kindergarten,” his mom says.

I’m delighted, what do I care? I’ve got a tiny baby laughing like Clayton Forrester and shaking his first at me. He’ll make a face like an old man, long and wizened and hideous under layers of baby fat, then do that maniac laugh, then smile and it’s the sun coming out. It’s winter and that’s important. We were going for a walk through the park but it started hailing so we’re going for a drive instead. The car smells like both of them, baby-smell and woman-smell, stale goldfish crackers and the elusive smell of clean hair.

She points out the mountains in the distance and the blue sky opened above them but I hardly notice. There’s a world in the car, and an endless blue sky and the sun shining forever above the clouds where the planes are passing overhead.