He shoots hoops while I sit on a bench bent over my journal. Evening sun streaks across the blacktop. “Hey Mom, catch!” He fake pumps the ball at me and laughs before really tossing it up in a high arc. I pluck it from the sky and dribble it down the path towards the car.
“Can I write in your journal?” he asks.
“Sure.” I hand it over. He flips past page after page, not a stitch of notice snagging on the thickets and knots penned during a cramped daily metro commute. He finds a blank space, plops into his seat and starts writing. His grip on the pen is both loose and sure. We are only blocks from the house which is just far enough for my boy to fall into flight.
Riding some current that’s his alone, Bug ignores my bustle and opts to stay in the car long after we’ve parked.
When he finally makes his way in from the parking lot, I hear the man from upstairs say hello to him on the landing. Bug actually murmurs a “hi,” which is considerably more than he manages when we encounter a neighbor together. Dinner is already halfway to hot. My boy heads into the kitchen, kicks off his shoes, and slaps the journal on the counter. Cutting his eyes up at me from under his curtain of hair, he waits.
I dry my hands and lean. We read it out together and I hug him super close.
People like to play outside.
Animals wake up.
This is how we learn to notice. Attention snares these motes and fragments. My boy has made today’s catch word-shaped. He’s even been so bold as to give himself a well-done check. His inner critic approves of his inner artist’s work.
How different my boy’s page is from the tangle of ink and paper that precedes it.
How much his gaze can teach mine.