Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yesterdays Flash

My dad, pen in hand, standing over the crib of my newborn son, writing down the statistics that mark the reality of his arrival.

Christmas Eve two weeks after his birth, I hold him and read the long familiar narrative now made alive in a new way – there’s something about a baby at Christmas.

I speak at the funeral of the man after whom he is named, praying that my boy might embody some of this good man’s gentle grace and greatness. Knowing now, prayers answered.

Watching him kneel on the bench and peer intently at the upside down music on the piano, hands poised over the keys – concentrated music making in toddler form.

He flies across the gym floor in his walker, flung with perhaps unnecessary vigor from one end to end by his two older brothers – all three of them laughing out loud.

Raking leaves into a boy sized pile into which he burrows, nothing but the top of his blond head visible – and the sudden explosion of laughter and life as he leaps up for the fun of doing it all again. And again.

A freak-out moment in kindergarten when the crayons won’t go back in the box in the right order, which only his mom knows. A sign of inherited and learned perfectionism.

A maroon flash, chasing the ball up the field, determination written all over his face.

His smile at being recognized for the hours of hard work with an older brother and friend to become the most improved basketball player on the team.

Jokes that make no sense but are funny anyway – to him, and, thus, to us.

Long legs stretching out, carrying him further than the boy in the next lane who seems to require twice as many steps to cover the same distance. He doesn’t run to win, but because he loves to be on the team.

Watching him from a few rows back, his hands raised, his head thrown back – worship flowing out of his very soul.

Delighting to talk of the kids he had played with in Mexico.

The casually cool way he sits in his car – deeply cautious and careful . . . most of the time. When he is not distracted.

And then, last night, his name called – a diploma awarded – a milestone passed. High School. Done.

Yesterdays flash. And are . . . gone.

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