Monday, January 20, 2014

In his eyes: Capturing the moment

Me & my Evan
I gaze at him across the crowed room. It took me a good forty-five seconds to locate him among the chaos. A mess of young children jacked up on orange soda and birthday cake, jumping on trampolines and hurling themselves into the ball-pit-of-e-coli. I'm watching from the sidelines, unable to bounce due to a  recent running injury. I have been alternating small talk with fellow parents and feverishly reviewing my friend's Facebook statuses. But he catches my eye, my sweet five year old middle child. My Evan. The way he moves so effortlessly on the trampoline flapping his skinny arms around with a giant goofy grin. He has sheer happiness spread across his tiny face.

I stare at him, taking in his joy. I wonder where the baby fat went. When did the round little tummy that was so very kissable melt away? When did I stop carrying him on my hip and pushing him in the grocery cart? The demands of my eldest son, and the arrival of his little brother makes that time blurry. I don't remember when Evan left his babyhood behind and became a kid.

But now I see him bouncing about solo. He isn't playing with the other children at this moment, but skipping across the trampoline simply enjoying the effortless way his body moves. Smiling at the lightness of his feet and the air he catches when he leaps up. It hits me. My son is happy. He is secure and happy. We think about childhood as carefree, and while I don't believe children escape feelings of anxiety, fear and worry, I do marvel at the pleasure they find in the simple moments of
life. Evan wasn't noticing the dingy carpeting, the chipped paint or the faint smell of diapers, he was focused on the way it felt to be light on his feet, the way his limbs moved with ease.

I want to run up and hug him tight, perhaps soak up some of his innocence. I want to beg time to stand still so he can remain this happy forever. I think about trying to capture the moment with a photograph but I know that no picture will do it justice. And time will march on relentlessly. He will continue to grow, from my small five year old, to an awkward adolescent and someday a man towering over me. Perhaps Evan  will have children of his own someday and if so I hope they can bring him back to his childhood, this time I gave him, this time that was just for him. And I hope as he watches his own babies that he is reminded of the joy I see in his eyes today.