My son. He was born almost seven years ago. I named him for Isabelle Archer, the great heroine of Henry James’s greatest novel, Portrait of a Lady. I wish for him the same tenacious and curious spirit she possessed, though of course with a more joyous end. He is entering into his own identity now, his own self. Words, as most mothers know, fail: he is gone before he was here: womb, birth, exquisite tangle of infancy and toddlerhood. Walking, running, and then, suddenly, the knowing that the running will never stop. If the job is done right, we train our children to break our own hearts. Boyhood. A coming home to himself; a leave-taking of me.