We were prepared for rain. I packed boots and rain jackets and umbrellas. I remembered the longs months of unrelenting damp air and gray skies from the time I once lived here, and I planned accordingly.

I was wrong: the weather was glorious. And not the typical “five-minutes-of-sun-alternating-with-five-minutes-of-rain” type of weather, but rather the truly beautiful kind, with sunshine, a warm breeze, and blue skies punctuated by rolling white clouds.

We arrived during a busy Saturday. Danny loved standing during the Tube ride, clinging to a brightly colored metal pole for support. By the end of the journey, he adopted the relaxed stance of a seasoned commuter, holding comfortably with just one hand. For a moment I glimpsed not my six-and-eleven-twelfths-year-old, but my future son, already grown up. Then, he grinned at me, flashing spaces where several teeth should be, and he was back to being my little one, once again.

We wandered the streets, weaving our way toward Buckingham Palace. We entered Green Park and stumbled upon a little crepe stand that I didn’t remember, just as we were feeling hungry for lunch. I thought for a moment about ordering us healthy combinations, such as mushrooms and cheese, but my inner six-and-eleven-twelfths-year-old decided that we should have chocolate and lemon-and-sugar. We picnicked on the vibrant green grass and we licked our plates clean.

We continued our journey toward the Thames, and Danny’s wide eyes absorbed everything. He stopped every so often to hug me, to tell me he was having a wonderful time. When I had to let go of his hand to use my camera, he leaned against me so I could feel his weight and would know he was safe beside me.

Once we entered St. James Park, we could finally see the London Eye, just peering over the tops of the buildings. I loved the magical touch it added to the skyline, but even more, I loved the expression on my child’s face when he first caught site of it.

I planned for rain, but instead I found sunshine and chocolate crepes and the gift of time to spend with my child before he grows his wings and flies away…can you find my hidden message in the sky?

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