He was three or four years old, running with the confidence of the innocent on a sandy beach. Lite, curly, brown hair framed his face; a face brimming with smiles and laughter.
Off a heavy string floating behind him was a giant kite in the two-dimensional shape of an owl, its bright colors of yellow and green contrasting with the blue sky. It was held up by a mom who would not disappoint. His laughter, his joy was contagious. We laughed joyfully watching him.
He shouted at his mom and the wind carried the words to us, over the sand and the waves “This is the best day of the year flying a kite!”
What if every day could hold that kind of laughter, that kind of joy?
He was three years old, holding up arms that were still ripe with toddler chubbyness – the perfect kind.
“Mommy, Hold me! Mommy I’m tired!” His pleading was insistent, his blue eyes compelling.
The hill was high and we had walked for some time.
Should I tell him?
Joel – I can’t carry you! Mommy’s tired, Mommy’s having another baby!
He stopped short, a grin of sheer joy spreading over his face.
“That’s okay Mommy! I can walk.”
He resolutely took my hand and together we walked the remaining distance to the large white house on the top of the hill.
Watching the little boy on the beach took me back 21 years to the time on the hill. Maybe it was the innocence, maybe it was the look of complete joy that brought back my son’s face to me.
When parenting brings heart ache or loss, or when you feel a wistfulness for what was, the unique closeness that we have with our children during childhood, it’s a gift to be reminded of the times of laughter, of pure joy. The times when you would not trade where you were and who you were with for anything in the world. The times when small hearts were easily satisfied, and tears healed simply by a mom or dad’s touch
When life gets complicated I want to have memories of best days of the year, flying a kite.
When was your best day of the year flying a kite? What memories do you have of your kids lost in complete joy?
- The Red Kite – Spring Contest (childrensbooksheal.com)