“Mama, let me take your picture,” my son said.
Today, I hosted a writer on the campus of the school in which I teach and when I told Matt I going, he asked if he could join me. I was surprised because my husband and daughter were leaving for a walk and I assumed he would want to go with them. But he wanted to be with me, and while sometimes, I wouldn’t want to take him to a reading, today, I welcomed his company.
I have been brewing over something someone had said that hurt my feelings and in the end, I wasn’t looking forward to being alone with my thoughts in the car on my 30 minute drive back and forth to school.
To my surprise, he sat through the reading, hanging on the words of the speaker as she read the prologue to Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild.” When the writer asked the students to summarize the passage with a simple sentence, Matt participated and said “A woman took a walk on a trail.” I smiled because I love that he loves words like I do. Soon, he was six again and tired of the workshop. He played outside until it was over, as I watched through the window. With each skip I watched him take, the weight lifted from my chest.
And so, that’s how it ended up just being the two of us for the rest of the day. He didn’t want to go home and of course, I reveled in the alone time with the boy of my heart. I forgot all about my worries and hurt feelings. We walked around the school’s grounds for an hour until we ended up in the school’s living room where he asked to take this photo. He was very serious as we walked through what he refers to as “Hogwarts.” He picked a sofa for me to sit on, and so I sat and he took this photo.
Later, he recounted our afternoon to my husband and showed him this picture. He was so proud of it and said, “I just love this picture of Mama” and then I heard his voice drop and he said, “I wanted to make her smile.” I had said nothing to him of my hurt feelings, but he knew anyway.
And while it might seem like a little thing, as most things in the everyday are, I simply love that he came with me today and took this photo. I might not remember the details of this day forever, but this picture will serve as a reminder of how lucky I am to have a small boy who understands and shares my love of words and who wanted to take my photo.
It was just what I needed today: the confirmation that the people who matter the most to me love me like I love them. And the photo helps me to remember.
Thanks for Mothering the Divide with me, as we look closely at our everyday lives to see the beauty right with the people who matter and with the children we spend our days with. The beauty is there for us all; we just need to open our eyes to see it.