It’s been so nice to finally be able to get out and go walking with my son. It seemed that the winter wouldn’t let go for the longest time. A few days would start to climb to spring temperatures and then plummet back down, but now the warmth is holding on. There is something that always makes me happy about rising to the chirping of birds and watching the baby bunnies hop around outside and chase squirrels. I seem to have let go of the breath I’ve been holding and find ways to smile more, even on the bad days.
The awakening of spring always amazes me. Where once the earth was frozen in dark browns and yellow remnants of what was. Then all the sudden, while we were all sleeping I would guess, the trees burst open their branches with flowers and the unyielding earth lets go. Life happens.
I talk to my youngest a lot about the changes with spring, mostly because he doesn’t like it when it rains and he can’t go outside. I explain how just like him the trees and the earth need water and they aren’t able to drink out of big boy cups. We need the rain for the leaves to come back, for the flowers to reach out and for all the thousands of wishes to come true.
We walk around and try to find all the colors in the flowers and find little birds and bugs that are his new spring ‘friends’. We wait for new dandelions to bring us wishes and watch the little Maple helicopter seeds spin from the trees.
He half skips, runs and spins on our walks; making up names for all the cars and trucks in our neighborhood. Little do our neighbors know their vehicles have names and personalities, some even have their own songs. Everyone gets a round of applause for backing up or having an especially cool truck. These are the best of times. I pick out colors as we go in the flowers, he finds them in the trucks and we learn that nature and machine share the same color palette.
Sometimes I swear I can see his heart growing. His smiles carry all the joys of spring, petaling out to his small calloused hands. He reaches all the secret places inside of me through the cracks in my exterior and stretches out with the vivid love that comes so easily to him. It’s as though he can notice that winter hadn’t let go of my worries for his future and so he thaws me out through laughter. I wonder as we walk if it is not so much me holding his hand as we cross the streets, but him holding mine; helping me to move forward despite my concerns of unseen vehicles and dangers at four ways.
There are these moments that swell up and time happens to pause only for him. The air doesn’t move and the world seems in perfect balance. He stops moving so fast and turns with small smiles; he waits for me to catch up.
I think this must have been what I was holding my breath for.