Mijo refuses to wear his gloves— even on the coldest of cold winter days. Most of this is his general audacious-ness. Part of it is the increased intolerance he has for certain textures on his skin and hands; one symptom of his Autism we’d thought he’d not experience but seems to manifest more as he gets older.
Waiting for the bus each morning his little fingers get so raw and stiff as he tries to climb the cast-iron lamp post or fling all the ice off the chain-link fence at the stop. “Do you want to put your gloves on?” I ask him over and over. “Do you need to put your hands in your pockets?”
“No.” He says flatly and keeps bouncing and spinning and huffing so he can see his breath.
“Okay.” I agree, settling him down for a sec and taking his red little fists in mine.
“Put your hands together, baby” I tell him, covering his with my own. He looks down at them and then up at me.
“We’re getting warm!” He says, smiling.
“That’s right, baby. Warm hands warm hands warm hands.” I say, smiling back.
He let’s me stand there still like that for another dozen seconds, as the freezing air screams across my fingers and the back of my hands.
Then he pulls his free and starts poking at the ice again.
I smile, shoving my numbness back into my pocket, past my empty gloves and wait until he needs my hands to hold his again.