I walk past N as he puts parmesan on his pasta in the kitchen, his head bent over. I can't resist. I kiss the back of his neck.
"Owie," he says.
"Owie?" I reply. "That didn't hurt."
"But it tickled," he says. "And so I said 'owie.' You can't argue with that."
"Um, yes, I can."
"No, you can't," he says with finality. "Owie's a strong and powerful word."
I'm not sure I know what that conversation meant, but I'm pretty sure it was profound.