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“Mom?” Will asks, lugging a Nerf gun that looks as if it might outweigh him by several pounds.

“What’s up, babe?”

“When will it be tomorrow?”

“Umm…tomorrow?” I quip. I really hate it when I can’t come up with a truly masterful bit of sarcasm on the fly.

“Oh…” Will trails off, thinking. He cocks his head at me, like a bird examining a likely worm. “So is tomorrow a school day?”

“Yep.” Internal happy dance.

“Well, then…” he says, “tomorrow I’m not going to be feeling very well.”

“Noted. But you’re still going to school.”

Will ponders this a moment, then his lip curls slightly and his dimple pops into sharp relief.

“Fine, but I’m bringing THIS.” He slings his Nerf gun to his shoulder and unleashes a barrage of foam darts at the front door. His ammunition spent, he lowers his weapon and shoots me a toothy grin. “It’s gonna be so awesome.”

The “The Second Coming” leaps unbidden to my mind and for a moment I wonder what I’ve unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Then Will’s wolf-smile sidles away and his real smile slips in behind. Dirty Harry was just an act and Silly Willy is back to stay. He’s so beautiful — and so terrible. The one following the other in rapid succession. We all are, I suppose. With age comes discretion. Thank God we’re here to teach him, though. I shudder to think of Will Unbound.

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