I had a rough day and if you read yesterday’s post then you understand why. I decided I needed a break from the world and all its stresses and took a walk. I wandered down to the park to look at the flowers and count the hundreds of squirrels that swarm the canopy above. I meandered along until I settled onto a park bench and began to feel sorry for myself until…
I saw an invisible child.
He wanted to be seen and he wanted to be heard but the person who was with him wasn’t with him. I listened to him beg-
“Hey, mom! Mom! Mom! Look! See what I can do?”
“Did you see? I can do it again. Watch.”
“Did you watch?”
That poor baby wanted to share the wonders of the world with his mom, but she wanted to tag, and post, and tweet, and gram. She wanted to be in an imaginary world instead of with the amazing creature that begged for her attention.
I watched his head drop when he realized she wasn’t paying attention. I watched as he stepped further and further away just waiting for his mom to notice. She didn’t. He lost his nerve and moved back towards where she sat staring at her phone. I don’t know who was sadder. Me or him? He was a little bit of a guy, maybe 7-ish and mom was young. Young enough to play and run and chase. Young enough to still have the energy to be active with her son. I loved that time with my girls. I loved jumping in mud puddles and playing pirates on the jungle gym. I miss finger painting on rainy days and reading stories with all the voices for every character. She was missing out on his short-lived years.
Time will move fast and he will be gone. No longer will he want to spend time with her or walk around the park. He will stop wanting to show her all the things he can do. He will move on and she will sit wondering where the time went. It’s sad. But I’m in a funk and maybe I’m coloring their little story with the grays that have overtaken me.
You don’t realize until it’s too late how important time is. It’s short and then it’s gone. I am in a position where that reality is all too raw. I have run out of time. I cannot go back and fix what was broken or change what could have been changed. Times up. But not for this little guy.
I wandered closer and cleared my throat. She didn’t look up immediately when I approached so I spoke so she could hear me.
I said hello to the lil dude and told him that he could throw a ball really well. I said it was cool. When mom finally pulled her attention away from her hands I slid my hand into my pocket and pulled out some money. I told the lil guy that it would also be cool if he took his mom out for ice cream at Mr. Twist upon the corner. Even better would be if he paid like a big guy would. I handed him a $5 and looked to his mom~
“They are so wonderful at this age. I miss it with my own. Enjoy it while you can. Make a memory today that will last forever.”
I know I should have minded my own business but I don’t regret my words. He was so excited about taking his mom for an ice cream cone. $5 wasn’t much but it was enough for the lil guy to buy them cones and be proud of himself for paying. I slipped away in his excitement and felt a smile form on my face.
I can’t change what was but I can give the world a nudge in the right direction. One ice cream at a time.
As aways friends…
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Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.