“Around here, we don’t look backwards for very long…
We keep moving forward,
opening up new doors,
and doing new things,
because we’re curious …
…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Sometimes I wish Mike and I could both stay home with Ryan all day. Not just because, duh, two against one, but also because there are so many moments in a week, in a day, in an hour, when that little boy surprises me, makes me laugh or does something so, so brave that I grin and I clap and I cheer and then I think: Darn, I’m the only one who saw that.
I’m the sole witness to so much of his life. It’s a terrible burden for me, on account of my goldfish-esque memory. I think that’s why my phone is permanently lodged in my right hand. Because I know at any moment, Ryan could be on the cusp of doing something amazing that must be remembered and I have to capture it before it floats off into the clouds forever.
He climbed that rock wall with NO hesitation. I kept hitting the camera button on my iPhone, thinking I really should be doing a better job of spotting him and waiting for him to glance over his shoulder to make sure I was still there.
He never did. In fact, he got to the top and took off running without ever pausing to note my coordinates.
He’s grown up so much this summer. As little as a year ago, he stood on the playground sidelines and watched other kids play, too cautious or intimidated or bashful to join them. Now, he’s the kid who goes in search of a new friend everywhere we go, approaching the first kid he finds with, “Hi! My name is Ryan. What’s your name? Want to play with me? Come on, let’s go!“
When I try to get him to do something he doesn’t want to do, he placates me with, “maybe tomorrow, Mommy … maybe tomorrow.” He thinks if you are watching a movie, you should also be eating popcorn. He kicks his shoes off as soon as I put the car into drive. He scolds me if I say “pretzels” when the proper terminology is obviously “pretzel goldfish.” He tells me if I get scared of the shadows while I’m sleeping, to call to him and he’ll come scare them away for me.
He must always know where I am. If I’m out of his sight for more than 2 minutes, he yells across the house to confirm my location. If he sees a beach in a commercial on TV, he yells for me to come see it. His favorite job is to sort the recyclables. If I make a dinner he doesn’t like, he runs screaming from the room and throws himself onto the couch in despair; but he almost always comes back to try it.
He’s freakin’ hilarious and part of me wishes I could bottle him up, press a giant pause button on the way he is right now.
Then again, Walt is right. I want him to keep moving forward, opening new doors, doing new things and following his curiosity down new paths.
I have to have faith that even if I forget the details, I will always remember how he kept surprising and amazing me.