The other night, it was nearing dinner time (often what they call witching hour)…. Your dad had taken you out for “boys day” so, I could host a ladies-only baby shower at home. He had done a kickass job of parenting you by himself all day & needed a well-deserved break. You were starting to whine & I could see the emotion building up in you. Tried as I might, to figure out just what was bothering you or set you off, I couldn’t put my finger on it. So, I asked you to come outside with me? You protested at first, but eventually, willingly followed suit.
I let you be captain of the sand box pirate ship & dish orders for me to dig with the tractor. When you grew bored, I walked to the tree line with you to watch the sunset behind the mountains. We went back and fourth a couple times about why you shouldn’t play near the road before settling on a game of “pick up sticks.”
Our little walk around the yard to collect wood for your imaginary campfire, led us to the perfect sitting tree along the Orchard’s edge. I quickly plopped myself up to take a break and you chose a precisely more challenging route up and over a collection of rocks & another tree as I watched you stumble your way up next to me. We sat there in silence for a moment until I put my arm around you.
I wanted to hold you in that moment forever but as you usually do, you had another idea…
You looked down past our feet that hung from the fallen tree and asked me if I wanted a fishing pole? I hesitated (hoping you didn’t notice that moment of doubt on my face) and blurted out, “sure!”
You proceeded to lower yourself down from your seat next to mine and dig around in the brush. I watched you quietly, in amazement as you soon popped your head back up and asked me to “hold this.” I smiled at the two small tree limbs I was holding in my hands while you made your way back up to our favorite resting spot.
You retracted your fishing pole from my hands & motioned for me to toss a line. I obliged & contently drifted off for a moment as your talk of spotting a fish grew distant. I snapped back into it when you exclaimed, “mumma, I got a fish!” We pretended to struggle, this way & that as we wrangled that large fish into our bucket. This continued on for what felt like an entire, sunny afternoon – just you & I – out on the lake, catching fish & tossing them back into the water… Were we really just hangin’ out on a fallen tree in our backyard? I almost couldn’t tell anymore…
My son, your imaginary world is a magical place. A place I always want an invite to.
My son, who loves to twirl the bowl of hair on his head like a little girl does with her dress.
My son, who loves to give orders in the sandbox just as a foreman does to his crew on a construction site.
My son, who thinks he’s being sneaky when he makes noises just so I’ll pretend like I didn’t know where it came from.
My son, who serves the finest meals from the corner kitchen in his bedroom.
My son, who tells tales better than a story book.
My son, THANK YOU.
Thank you for sharing your world with me. Your imagination, playing pretend, our silly little inside jokes. Those memories are such a gift & I am honored to be invited into your special world.
I know there will come a time when you won’t always extend the invite so, for the time being I will do my best to accept your offer as often as I can – Because right now, there is no place i’d rather be than in the middle of a lake, tossin’ lines or on the edge with YOU.