Last night Mythankfulboy got to participate in an hour of 1:1 baseball coaching, one of four, as a holiday gift from his Grandaddy. It is so nice to watch your kid be 100% in the moment and learning something. He was so excited/nervous that he couldn’t stand still; he bounced on his toes, passing the bat or a ball back and forth between his hands, as though any minute his whole body would burst into uncontrollable shaking. It didn’t, and he had a great time, blisters not withstanding (that’ll teach him to make sure he has his batting gloves).
Home for leftovers, dishes, laundry, gaming, emails, facebook. At the chalice lighting I showed B an Upworthy video of a family with whom I once worked, perhaps 15 years ago, brought to my attention by a colleague from that time (thanks MB!) We talked about the impact you can have on peoples’ lives, if you choose to stop and listen and do what you can to help. Well, I talked about that. He mostly said, “Cool” and “That got over 3 million views!”
When I asked B for what he was thankful, he did the look-around-the-room-for-something-to-say routine, which I have learned means he never really had his mind with me in the first place. He said, “I’m thankful for all the different ways you can blow out a candle”, and he began demonstrating them, resulting in the chalice going out before the ritual was over, and acrid smoke making us cough. I have almost learned not to be annoyed by this not-really-present behavior, but to understand it as something that’s going to happen from time to time, or as something with which to work, either by drawing something out of whatever he says, or by giving more time and space to really think about the day and his life. Tonight I was somewhere in the middle, so, once I ceased coughing, I asked if perhaps today he had gotten to do something he didn’t get to do everyday.
“Oh yeah! Going to DD and getting coached! That was awesome! And I’m thankful for Bandaids that have Neosporin in them for blisters, and for you for taking me there even though it was stressful time-wise. And for my haircut!” We had, indeed, accomplished a haircut on the way home from baseball, stopping by a cool old-fashioned barber. I said I was thankful for the barber shop, and that I hoped he liked his cut well enough to go back there. Nothing PC about the place, but something very authentic, which was appealing. He said, “So far so good, although I did have trouble getting all the product out of my hair.”
Old and new, good and eh, wisdom and wise-guy. Given dedicated time and space, and an occasional nudge, reflection and connection are the reward.