Yes, I see you there. No, I was not casually observing from the distance and taking a picture of a random tree. I knew this... and apparently... so did you. You caught me.
Son, is there anything that you don't notice?
I think what I love most about this picture is the gentle moment it represented and how at this exact click of my camera, my heart felt a stab of bittersweet love at all the mighty ways you are growing. We approached this park, a favorite for years and a playground where you have mastered the mightest of social situations and belayed down rock walls that caught me way off guard at much too young an age. In this park ... you are fearless.
Except for today.
An after school group of children flooded the playground. So many of them. Loud and playful. Just up your alley. All those new people to make your new best friend.
Except for today.
Today. Today you were so very self aware. This is new. It matters what you wear now... not because of how it feels or what color you were really wanting to wear... you know, the battles of toddlers... but rather because of how it might be perceived by your peers. In this moment at the park... Molly wasn't there. Lucy was off being like you typically are in a crowd... the loudest one. Annie was fast asleep. So off you went... to your most favorite tree to climb and watch with this new nervous anticipation of play. A safe space to build your bravery. 10 minutes later... you were right in the mix of things and loving every second of fun in the sunshine. But in this one moment...you caught me, son. I was watching you through glassy eyes and a bittersweet heart... watching you grow into this new milestone. How are you so big now?
Elmo. Lightening McQueen. Mr. Potato Head. They were so so so much a part of our everyday with what feels like just last week and now...
Waaaaaay too much fairy dust...
and extra holes in your mouth. Crucial ones.
There are hilarious reactions to frustrations with your sister
and a breakaway from cutesy to scary.
All that wonderment of the world...
Such a mighty season of growing.