It’s an amazing dynamic I’ve got going on right now.
For the first time in my life, I am learning truly how to live. I am but an infant in this new life and am barely able to walk. I take this new journey one moment at a time. Jack is doing this as well in a more literal sense. He is LEARNING how to live…and he’s doing it better than me.
I’ve stumbled more times on notions of willingness and falsely inflated ego than this little human being has stumbled while ACTUALLY learning how to walk. Now he walks, he runs, he makes little jumps, but every now and then a new hurdle stands before him. Something he has not come across before. Perhaps there is a dog in his way. Perhaps it’s a soccer ball rolling past him for the first time. In one recent case, it was as easy as making the transition from grass to sidewalk and all the terrifying potentials that lie ahead of that challenge. It’s a fantastic thing to witness. He see’s the obstacle, utilizes the tools at his disposal and goes about the task. To see his deep contemplation about the possible outcomes that would unfold by stepping off the soft, green grass and onto the hard concrete is equal parts adorable and fascinating. He recognizes it and he just does it. He doesn’t always get it right and more often than not it’s not pretty…but he does it and he’s stronger for having done so. Most importantly, he continues to do it until it’s just part of the background of living.
It’s a simple way of learning to live that I almost find myself envious of. He doesn’t feel like the curb isn’t working as hard as he is, so it should just lower itself. He isn’t worried about what the other kids will think if he trips. If he skins his knee in the process, it will heal.
Now I know how to step off a curb. I know how to walk, but it’s really only in the most general sense of the term. I, like Jack, am still learning how to navigate life using more than just my own two feet. I’m stepping off the soft, safe grass and into the hard, rigid world more and more each day. We both have all the tools we need at our disposal and the hope that we will use them as necessary. However, it’s what Jack does when he cannot bring himself to take that step that gives me the most hope.
He puts his hand up towards mine, I grasp it and we take that step together. When my son cannot do something by himself, he asks for help. There is no ego in him, he has no problem saying “I do not know what I’m doing. Can you help me?” It took me 33 years to re-learn that lesson and it’s a vital surrender that I hope Jack never feels the need to compensate for. In the meantime, we’ll both continue walking with the help of those that love us nudging us along the road.
Thank you for reading. Be well.