On Saturday morning Jeffrey and I go down the street to the neighbor’s to let their dogs out. They are out of town and he is their “go-to” guy when they need a pet sitter. Sometimes he likes to talk as we walk and right before we get to their house he opens up.
Have you ever woken up in the morning and just thought that all the possibilities of things to do are endless?
He opens the garage door with the remote and ducks inside but I am standing on the driveway…speechless.
What did you say?
I hurry in after him and he is opening the door and there are wet noses waiting for our hands and as we sink fingers into quivering fur he asks it again.
Have you ever woken up in the morning and realized that it’s a new day and anything can happen? I mean, you can do anything?
I follow him through the kitchen and he opens the back door to let the dogs out in the yard. They want us to come with them and Tucker, the male Cocker, grabs his toy for me to throw. We spill into the back yard and I’m still thinking about it.
Have I ever. Every morning I wake up and think about the endless list of things to do that day. But the way he asked the question? He makes it sound like a good thing.
Anything can happen.
You can do anything.
Each morning I wake up and that to-do list feels like a chain around my leg. When last have I looked at the day with a sense of wonder and possibility?
I can’t remember.
He doesn’t seem to expect an answer and he is all over the dewy yard now…throwing, chasing, praising dogs. As I watch my son, it feels like scales fall from my eyes. I can learn a lot from this boy who approaches each day—each moment—with enthusiastic optimism.
As I watch, he climbs on the neighbor’s trampoline. They said it was okay for him to use it…but what about me? He looks over his shoulder.
Hey, mom, you wanna jump?
There’s a slight taunt in his voice, a bit of tease. He knows the trampoline story.
But for some reason, I feel scared.
I don’t know, I say. The grass is all wet.
You have to take off your shoes anyway.
I move slowly over to the thing. Three sets of canine eyes follow me.
I know, I know, my eyes tell theirs. I’m too old for this.
But I can’t seem to stop myself and soon we are jumping together. I feel the exhilaration of feet catching air and I start to giggle. Our jumping gets all messed up and he’s going down when I’m going up and it messes with the flight and I can’t stop laughing. I lay down in the middle of the thing, collapse into giggles and he keeps jumping—doing the popcorn thing to me.
Mom, get up!
I can’t…I can’t stop laughing.
He starts laughing too and I slide off, into my shoes. The earth feels good.
And I just had my vision checked.
We leave the dogs and continue our walk. We go down by the creek and the morning sun makes shine on the water. The frogs jump in our wake and make slappy splashes. I laugh more. There are two ducks swimming in the deep pool and they lift their heads cautiously as we walk by. I smell lilac and fresh cut grass and I hear birdsong.
Everything is new. Everything is new.