I want a boy with an untucked shirt. A boy with dimples like potholes. A boy with long, strong arms that wrap around me and make me feel safe.
I want a boy who likes to get dirty, who will take me fishing and swimming and hunting and hiking, who smiles wide beneath the brim of his weather-worn hat. I want a boy who’s quiet, who will ride with me across whole states without needing to say a word.
I want a boy with ideas, who tries to understand the world and to understand himself.
I want a boy who loves kitsch. I want a boy to visit small towns with me and collect miniature steins with me and play darts with me in a dirty mid-country bar that only sells Budweiser and has antlers on the wall. I want a boy who will go to greasy spoon diners without hesitation, without asking if I “think it’s a good idea,” without laying pragmatism atop fun.
I want a boy who’s curious, who wants to explore new foods and places and philosophies and people. I want a boy who reads, who gives good recommendations and who listens to mine. I want a boy who makes playlists, who pays attention to lyrics and gets lost in the songs.
I want a boy who tickles and tackles. I want a boy who laughs. I want a boy whose affection is not shouted but delivered in intertwined fingers across center consoles and in theaters and over oceans and under stars and among friends and between sheets. I want a boy who can be strong. I want a boy who can be vulnerable. I want a boy who forgives the folly in others because he sees folly in himself. I want a boy who thinks about death.
I want a boy who likes children but doesn’t want any because there’s so much to do in this life, this one important and finite life, that he selfishly wants all the hours for himself, and for me, and for the work that will leave an impact.
I want a boy who creates. I want a boy who loves dogs. I want a boy who’s always learning, whose mind is constantly expanding, who becomes new faster than I can learn him. I want a boy who loves his family, who’s proud to show me the places he’s from. I want a boy who kisses my forehead when I lie on his chest. I want a boy who strokes my hair. I want a boy whose steady, rhythmic breathing is the lullaby that puts me to sleep.
I want a boy who’s remarkable and ordinary and impossible and real. I want someone who, no matter the man he grows into, always remains something of a boy at heart.