Let Him Hold You

ABSTRACT: Tophs’ successful surgery imbued him with special powers that must be harnessed. It also improved his quickstep.


It begins with an innocuous shuffle in the grocery store. He unleashes the power of the Broken Eagle Wing dance by bending one arm so that the elbow points ahead like a compass. Where the elbow goes, his size-3 Sperrys follow. If he breaks wing position, it’s only to clap or point at a shiny Thomas balloon in the floral department. Then it’s back to popping and locking his talons.

It’s cute at first. Everyone appreciates a strong sashay. But lately Tophs has been pushing it. Last week, he began to weave the shuffle in and out of produce. One morning he passed the seedless grapes, rounded the watermelon bin, swung back by the salad bar, and started it all again. He did about 3 or 4 of these laps where I could track him without moving. He convinced me that I could safely order a latte in the store’s cafe. He practically swaddled me with those eyes. Then, right as I was trying to pay, he did it.

He looked at me and smiled, his dimple suddenly the size of a cheese wheel, and ran. He stopped once–but just to turn around, squeal, and run again.

I know what you’re thinking: Taylor, how do you know it was him? What if was another small African-American boy in Charlottesville who crunks like a bird of prey?

Well, yes. That very well could be. Except Tophs’ run is a dead giveaway. Instead of leaning forward in that speeding bullet fashion, he lengthens his torso toward the ceiling, locks his legs, and then jiggles them forward from his hips. I’m not even sure how he makes forward progress. But the kid is fast.

He’s almost made it out of the grocery store alone twice. So I’m asking you to pray with me: Jesus, be a leash. Then make a donation to Tophs’ #JesusIsMyLeash Fund.

You see, they already make child harnesses. Little owl-shaped backpacks on a string. Nothing against owls, but I want more. I want more ThunderCats, more Go-Go Gadget, more New Testament with a side of Jem. Something remote controlled that I can point at Tophs, like ZAP! and out pops the Son of God’s inflatable arm with a hook. Because once Jesus has a hold on you…Can I get an Amen?

Depending on how much money we collect, I would like to expand the project to include cherubim and seraphim that inflate as he learns to ride a bike. And if each of you can give just $1 every day for the next sixteen years, I think we can devise a Holy Spirit airbag that deploys whenever he asks a girl out. Make one more move, son, and I’ll have to unleash the paraclete.





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