embrace the day
hunt monsters, bugs
build forts, high walls
cherish simple pleasures
i so love this little boy
I was reminded recently of this experience, and wanted to share it with you guys. Last summer, John took Braden and me with him to a show (he is a guitar player) at a place where there’s a helicopter ride offering on the property. We got lucky and were able to take Braden up in the helicopter that evening. The flight was amazing – open doors, of course, and it was very thrilling (the pilot turned us sideways at one point, with me on the underbelly, WHOA).
I had been so excited to go up in the helicopter myself, but, as thrilling as it was, I quickly realized that the best part of the ride was listening to Braden over the headphones we were all wearing. I wish I had an audio recording to share with you. He was adorable, hilarious, and sweet beyond description. I was not in a really great position to take photos of him (I was in the front, my hair whipping all over the place, holding my camera and phone) but I managed this shot by holding the camera over my shoulder.
It may not be the best photo, but I think you get the point. He was ecstatic. When we landed, John wanted to thank the pilot, but when he tried, he was given thanks himself. The pilot said it was the best ride he’d piloted in years because of Braden.
Children can be challenging and present all kinds of frustrating moments, but the joy they bring far eclipses any of that. They make the world an altogether more wonderful and interesting place. I’m so thankful we have him.
It’s also an Action Shot! Take a Self Portrait Action Shot before the 28th and submit it to the February SP Challenge for a chance to win fun prizes from Capturing Couture, Think Tank Photo, and SmugMug!
Rules and Details Here: February SP Action Shot Challenge Event (Open up the details and scroll to read them all.)
Would you like to join the Art of Self Portraiture Community? Come on over! You can find it here: http://goo.gl/M7XTQ
This morning, after a big birthday hug in bed, I asked Braden, “So… how does it feel to be 6? He replied, “stronger. faster. more awesome.”
Here’s hoping he feels that way with each passing year. In very many ways, he makes me feel that way, too.
You know, sometimes it’s frustrating to try to work from home at the same time as parenting.
But then there are moments where Katy Perry’s Firework comes on iTunes and Braden runs into the room and is all “ZOMG THAT IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SONGS EVAR” and then I’m all “NO. FREAKING. WAY. Do you wanna bust a move with me to it?” and he’s all “ARE YOU KIDDING? YESSSSSS.” And then that happens.
So when Braden made this announcement, I marched right in there and told him to go for it. He was sitting there looking very calm and relaxed, and at my arrival he stood up. With a glorious erection. If that wasn’t enough (it really, really was enough. no. really.) then he yanked at his testicle skin and demanded, “What. is. THIS?”
“But what’s INSIDE there?”
“It’s skin on the outside, and on the inside those are your testicles.”
“Okay. But what happens if I… SQUISH THEM?”
“Um. Well. They are very delicate and if you hit, yank, smash, or SQUISH them, it will probably hurt very bad. So be careful with them, okay?”
>pause. pensive look.<
>sits back down in bath. more pensive look<
“Actually? It feels very nice when I squish my testicles with my fingers. I like that. I like it very much.”
“I’m happy for you. I’m going to leave the room now.”
From the bathroom:
“MY TESTICLES LOOK LIKE ALMONDS!”
“MOMMY? WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING?”
Children laugh a lot. It is a beautiful thing.
A few nights ago, I heard my son laugh from upstairs. The laughter tinkled merrily down the stairs from up high to down where I was standing in the kitchen. It was the laugh of a four year old – giddy, unrestrained, and in those chucklesome, high-pitched, and somehow fairy-like tones that only children that young can achieve.
That night I heard the free, sincere, heartfelt laughter of my son, and I had a thought, suddenly. It hit me without consideration and washed over me harshly. It did not care what I was doing when it came on, or where it would leave me after it fled into the night beyond me.
And the thought was this:
There will come a day when I will not be so privileged as to hear that sound anymore as a common occurrence in my life, my day to day What Is, my moments possible to take for granted (even though I don’t want to). There will come a time when that laugh does not even exist anymore.
There will be a day when forever more I will not be able to hear that sound. His laughter will still be accessible to me (sometimes) but it will never sound that way again. It will become lost forever in the vault, deep and wide and sometimes difficult to navigate, that contains my lifetime of memories.
And memories have this awful way of fading and being so hard to recall in a tangible way, so hard to truly feel in the same way as they were once experienced.
I stood there, at the foot of the stairs, frozen in that moment. I stood there, playing that brief sound over and over in my head, savoring it. I was all alone, and may have nearly appeared catatonic in that moment of true consideration and revelation.
Braden may never know that he’s ever done something so simple but so incredibly and effortlessly meaningful that it captivated his mother so greatly. He might not realize that she once stood quietly relishing the joyous beauty of a 3 second laugh he uttered about a little bit of something more than nothing that faded into the night without him giving it another passing thought.
When I write these moments, it is like I’m drawing a map to put up on the inside of that vault, so that when I dive into it later, so much later, maybe I can find these most important of thoughts and feelings, these memories of the most golden days, and hold them near me again for a few moments.
And I will know.
And now you do, too.