We went to visit the east coast last week (Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland) for a potential job opportunity (more on that later). In my effort to be, in the least, awake through the evaluation of a new place to settle, I found myself noticing little things about my son that might have before only grazed my awareness as lulls between constant chatter and strong opinions.
One such moment occurred during a short stroll (one of his great loves is to “take a walk” or “walk around”), literally less than a block, from one antique store to another. There was this little path of winding pavers and newly blooming spring flowers. It was contrived and completely manicured but still sweet in it’s execution. I’d only begun to step toward a stone when suddenly energy gathered from just behind me and whooshed past me in a burst of uncontrolled giggles and spastic enthusiasm. Before I knew it, the boy was gone, down the path, hopping and staggering at full speed. In seconds flat, as he reached the end, he stopped and awaited my arrival.
I was stunned. He’d been grumpy. Travel is so hard on little attention spans. It’d been a long week. We were flying out late that day. I was on an emotional roller coaster all week. But he let it all go the moment he saw an enchanted path. It seemed to call to something so unbridled in him that he was completely unencumbered in that moment. Pure joy sprang from his hyena like gasps between blasts of laughter. It set my heart on fire and I grinned unchecked, uncontrolled, stupidly, gapingly, joyfully at the pure bliss he became.
It quickens my pulse even now to think of it.
Being awake and alive is such a challenge for me, but the mere mention of it here has helped cement my intention (at least) to lean toward it. It laid that groundwork, I believe, for my son’s joy to enliven me.
I feel eternally privileged.