Mosul, Iraq (2021). The soldier moved towards the kid suddenly and unexpectedly. His hand reached for the kid's face. For a brief moment. I could not see the soldier's face - as not one inch of his skin was left uncovered by his full armor - but I felt he meant it with some kind of melancholic affection: like older people sometimes do to the young, with a mixture of worry about their future and desire to encourage them. In that instant, against the silence of the gutted city, I felt I could almost hear the noise of the herculean effort of growing up.