Surrounded by pillows and burrowed beneath blankets, we snuggle. "Frog and Toad Together" is our companion as the sound of the sprinklers' gentle "click...click...click...phhhhttt"sound filters in from the window nearby opened just a crack to allow the swamp cooler to render our room a cool oasis on this beautiful summer morn. Like school kids playing hookey, we giggle as we talk about what a luxury it is to still be in bed, hidden away from the world for just a little while.
And thus, our first morning alone begins.
There is such a stark clarity in discovering who your child is when alone versus when they are part of a larger group. It is not that his personality is that much different, but that my own awareness of his sweetness is heightened. His questions are more apparent and I wonder how much gets lost in the cacophony that is our daily life. And yet he is happy, he is secure...or as secure as he is likely to ever be...and his growing maturity shines as the hours pass.
The company of my children, whether one on one or in a group, has always been a delight. Not that at times I don't find myself tired of tuning in to the hum of 5 different minds all forging ahead in many different directions. But their spirits are so intriguing, their perspective and view of the world is uniquely their own, and I find I have a respect for each that far surpasses what I ever would have expected.
He is at the stage I remember with Matthew so clearly...questions popping out like popcorn dancing in the air, waiting for seasoning from Mom so it is better understood. "Mommy...what is the busiest bug?", "Mommy, what if there was a big explosion and a bunch of people died and we had no electricity...would we live like in the old days and would electricity be turned back on someday?", "Mommy, does God know what I am thinking even before I think it?".
We do a little school work, he surprises me with his enthusiasm. He loves learning, it is a joy to him not a burden. Will he retain that curiosity?
He is 7 years old....7 1/2 he would remind you. A little longer is all we have, before the little boy disappears and the broader body and deeper thinking appear, and we will forever drop the "little" from our descriptions.
We have a lunch date with a friend tomorrow, we will talk and laugh and share as we drive, and he will join me as my "date"...running around the car to open my door, putting his still little hand in mine. For this week, it is just he, Daddy and I, he is an only for a little while. But it is not just this week that he is special, for he is special every day of his life. They all are. It is just that his specialness will stand alone, it will be more focused.
Like Frog and Toad, we have our own understanding, our own way of seeing the world that makes perfect sense to us even if it makes no sense at all to anyone else. As we read the first story about Toad and his list, I fully understood why you saw no humor in the list being lost, and toad feeling like he couldn't move on without it. That is you, it made perfect sense to you, items need to be crossed off and completed before moving on. No worries, I'll be the Frog to your Toad, and will sit alongside the road with you, never questioning your logic, joining you in your wait for that feeling of completion.
I love you, Joshua LaJoy. Chief Tenderheart, Lover of All, Conqueror of Abandonment...Beloved Toad.