There is a moment, a few moments actually, when my computer does something magical. It’s while my laptop boots up, after I type my password in. Right about the time when I start to get annoyed at how long it’s taking, wondering if anything is really going on inside that plastic box.

And then, suddenly, it happens. Unexpectedly really – as much as that is possible since I know that it’s going to happen, but I’d briefly forgotten. It’s that moment when a picture of my three boys appears on the screen and looks out at me from the other side of the LCD. Before all the icons scatter across my cluttered desktop and partially obscure their faces. For a moment, nothing else happens. Time stops, and it’s just them, frozen, staring at me.

And it makes me smile. Makes me want to lean back and glance around at the people sitting near me on the plane to see if they saw what I saw. So they can see what I have. How lucky, how blessed I am to have these three boys. Who in those several seconds on the screen, seem perfect. Like an illusion. Like something I’ve dreamt up.

But they’re not. They’re my boys. All three. And as I soar through the air, far away from home, 35,000 feet over the New Mexico desert, my heart beats a little faster. My eyes close a little tighter. And I pray for time to start moving again, to hurry up and get me through my journeys and turn me back eastward and back home soon.

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