Tuesday, September 22, 2009

first day of fall

A couple weeks ago, Donovan and I met up with a friend ("Angie") and her son ("Tyson") in an empty parking lot so the boys could ride their bikes together. We spent nearly an hour and a half there, watching and talking as the boys pedaled constantly (which, subsequently, is very entertaining to watch). There were on a couple near-misses and we would caution the boys to maybe keep a couple feet away from each other. One particular sideswipe looked like it was going to end in a mess, but after wobbling and some impressive skills in balance correction, they split apart and were fine.

Later, I was telling Donovan that while watching him from across the parking lot, my heart felt nervous and a little scared, but then so relieved when he was ok. For some reason this really resonated with him. For DAYS afterward, he would pipe up, "Mom? When I was widing my bike and almost cwashed into Tyson, did it make yo hawt shiv-o because you fot I would fall?" Yes, Donovan. "And den were you so gwad I was ok?" Yes, Donovan. Repeat, about 87 times.

On Saturday, during Donovan's soccer game, he got his first goal of the season. He has mostly adopted the "satellite" strategy where he basically orbits the action, waiting for the ball to pop out and become his. When he launched the ball into the back of the net, I leaped out of my chair, arms raised, and yelled 'YEAH!' The look on his face, as his grin seemed to engulf his face while his head kind of ducked down in that mix of pride and humility at being the center of attention while walking in a cloud of wonder, his little hand raised to his mouth as if to contain the nervous irrepressible giggling, was priceless. In that instant my heart loved him for his joy, rather than the act. He saw me jumping for him. He saw my clapping. He saw my thumbs up and I-love-you signs. And still, as he came over after subbing out, said, "Mom? Did you see my goal?" What goal? And I retold how I felt, while watching his chest vibrate against trying to suppress giggles. That night, as I tucked him in, he asked again, "Mom, did you see me score a goal?"

I remember basking in my parents' pride. BASKING. It was so warm and loving that I really did feel warmed by it. I think that's what Donovan is thriving on right now. Knowing that my feelings mirror (if not exceed) his. Basking.

For reasons only children must know, they love holidays. Any holiday. Wish them a happy President's day and they're just so grateful. It's weird. But don't think I don't capitalize on it. About a week ago we mentioned that autumn was coming. Since then, I am not even kidding, Donovan has counted down. To the first day of fall. A couple days ago I said, "You do know that nothing actually HAPPENS on the first day of fall, right?" He looked at me a little blankly, "But it's the first day of fall. That's exciting." So I told him that we could get out what meager fall/Halloween decorations we have and oh my gosh, the countdown JUST.GOT.INTERESTING. Yesterday he squealed, "Tomorrow is FALL!" Much eyerolling, on my part.

So it should have come as no surprise this morning as I ran up the street to see his silhouette backlit in his bedroom as he peered out. I came inside and went, as I always do, to the kitchen for a drink of water. Lights still off, it's semi-dark in there at 7:20 in the morning. I heard him coming down the stairs and he skidded into the kitchen and then stopped. "Hey Mom? You want to get some decorations now?" Dude.

Several hours later, after we were dressed and Ainsleigh was walked to school and I had done some laundry and the dishes, we pulled out the box of decorations. He alternated between clapping and beaming and telling me I was the best mom in the whole world. I'm not gonna lie - I loved every minute of this totally overhyped process.

I love his excitement for life, whether it's reliving a scary moment, wanting to hear how proud of him I am, or his inexplicable enthusiasm for turning a relatively regular day into something special. I suppose that's why he has to run everywhere and can't ever be quiet. Running will get you there faster, and why be quiet when stuff is just so dang awesome?! He can make my heart shiver or cheer (and sometimes both at the same time) and it's because my heart loves him so much.

Now I'm going to go blow his mind and suggest we make gingersnaps. You know, because it's the first day of fall.


Katie Ross said...

I didn't realize until almost 18 months ago just how much love a parent has for their children. You do such a fantastic job of putting it into words.

Angie said...

Your a good mom!!