The Wisdom of Jim Croce

I must have appeased the rain gods with my last post. The weather in Oregon has been perfect since our return from Arizona. I can’t believe in less than two weeks our stay in Hillsboro will be over.
I took the boys for a short hike through Washington Park today. At a rest point, I noticed a spider weaving a web. I have seen far too many spiders in my four decades on this planet, but I have never seen one building a home. I watched it walking around in circles as the light glistened off the silk.

To the left of the spider was a giant oak tree, its’ leaves turned to that brillaint orange that defines autumn. Every few seconds, one or two leaves would detach from their branches, pirohuetting in the breeze as they fell to the ground. They looked like butterflies. I said a silent thank you to whatever force willed me to come to Oregon for these few months to witness these experiences.

When you have small children, every day can feel like a milestone. What if this is the day he says his first word? Or the day he learns to walk? Still I can’t help feeling this time in Oregon was significant. For three whole months, I was able to focus almost completely on my sons. Not a great long term parenting plan, but for this short time, a gift.

I had no distractions. No commitments, no schedules, just days to wile away in whatever fashion we saw fit. Sometimes, it was maddening. I longed for the ease of an outing among friends, both for myself and the boys. Kellen, already a mama’s boy, became positively clingy, wanting me and only me to soothe his cries.  Even that behavior yielded some benefits.  Each night as we settled on the couch to read books and watch a show, he asked “you want to snuggle?” My answer always “yes.”

But on the whole, it was beautiful. Without time and obligation to obscure my vision, I was able to absorb fleeting, tender moments.

One afternoon, as Kellen napped, Liam and I sat on my bed, pretending it was out pirate ship. We rested our heads on my pillows, pretending we were sleeping on our boat underneath the stars. Liam said “we need a snack.”

He threw our anchor overboard (a measuring tape) and ran to the kitchen. He returned with a bag of carrot sticks. We crunched on the sweet carrots and talked, not like mother and son, but like friends. It was one of those times where you think soak it in, enjoy this.  It won’t always be this way.

I looked at him and said “I really like hanging out with you. Not every mom gets to see her son every day, and I’m really lucky I get to spend all my days with you. You make me happy.”

I don’t remember his response, but I know he was pleased. I recall it being a moment where I got to share something important with my son, something I hope he remembers forever.

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