“Since Teddy is sick, may we walk to school this morning?”
I look at our littlest one with weary eyes, then look out the window at the dark, wet morning settling in.
Walking a couple of miles in this dreariness after dealing with a sick child for two days is the last thing I want to do.
We used to walk to school frequently, when both boys were in elementary. But since Teddy’s middle school is a few miles down the road, I simply do not have time to walk one and drive the other. A fact that our Little Man frequently bemoans.
This boy always has a plan. Usually it involves bucking the status quo. Usually it inconveniences his mother tremendously. Today, it involves taking advantage of his brother’s flu.
My aching body prepares to give him false regrets, then I remember this:
I encountered this fragile leaf print in the road on my way to the bus stop the other day. Something in its faint impression touched me deeply.
It reminded me of what is left behind.
This boy, who has created his own flavor of milkshake (marshmallow cream, chocolate syrup, and crumbled pop tart), loves anything tie-dyed in his wardrobe, and cries over puppies and babies…this boy is a pretty unique character.
Celebrating the differences in my children sounds good in theory, but these little quirks do not always raise their heads at opportune times.
He would be fine if I told him no. Would still be his sweet sparkly self. Perhaps a tiny bit less sparkly, though.
Is that what I want to leave behind?
I look at his expectant face…the little twinkle in those blue eyes, and suppress a sigh.
“Sure, sweetie. Why not?”
He places his hand in mine and we trudge off into this rain-misted morning.
And I’m so grateful.
I’m so grateful for a sick child to make me appreciate the well one.
I’m grateful for the uniqueness of both of my boys.
I’m grateful for the way his hand still fits in mine, after ten years of holding it.
I’m grateful for the slowing of time that comes with these temporary ills.
Oh, yes. I’m grateful for what has been left behind.