He had to come along. There was no where else for him to be. Noah and Benjamin had soccer practice, Elizabeth had ballet. Josiah? He would ride along and sit with me for the hour he sister spent dancing.
When I first realized he would have to join us at her class, I felt a little bad for him. After all, what's a boy to do at his sister's dance studio? After a summer of being allowed to occasionally be left home under Noah's care, Josiah has gotten used to having some choices.... used to be able to hang with the boys if an errand must be run. But yesterday, there were no big boys home. So off we went for dance class... Elizabeth, a vision in a pink leotard and tights; Josiah, caught in the middle of a scheduling blip and me.
We arrived on time and in she went. Josiah sat slumped on the floor with a book and a piece of paper. He would work a bit "on his book" during class, he said... but his eyes wandered to the window nearby.
"C'mon, buddy..." I started. "Let's go see what we find."
He gathered his things and ran quickly to me, questions pouring forth from his lips.
"But momma, where will we go? What will find? Are we looking for something? What if class ends and we are not back? What if..."
He tilted his head to listen... the sun glimmered off the blond in his hair.
"What's that sound?" he asked. "Momma, what's that?"
It was familiar to me from years gone by and I smiled and ruffled his hair.
"Let's go see, buddy. Let's see what we can find."
The dance studio is located near a large high school and the practice field sat between us and them. Loudly we heard, tick! tock! tick! tock! and I walked a step behind my son as he followed the sound.
We climbed through a rough field for a while and climbed a small hill to the practice above. There, we found it. And a new sound began... music... instruments.... a loud, micro-phoned metronome keeping time.
A marching band!
Josiah could not believe his luck! With his love of music, he had found himself in nearly a perfect spot. Standing in nature, sun on his face, music surrounding his small self... perfection.
He did not move a muscle... just watched and listened and wondered at it all. The whole while, I watched him. I saw how his smile rose and fell with the drama of the music being played. I noticed his fingers, gently keeping time as the metronome tick! tocked! on... And for me, so much of it fell away right then and I was left looking at my boy. My boy who is growing up. My boy who has become taller and leaner and older and wiser. My boy who is old enough to stand still and listen and young enough to still feel the joy. And the field didn't matter then or the worry about time because for those simple minutes, it was just Josiah and I, together.
The music faded then and I looked to see the students gathering in groups. Practice was over.
"Wow." he whispered. "I guess this is what we found."
He smiled at me and I smiled back and I took his hand in mine. As we walked back, he chatted on and I remembered wondering what we would do. As I listened to my son talk about school and friends, it struck me. I need to spend less time planning what we will do... and allow for some time to be.
Yesterday, is stored up for me, not because of an outing or elaborate event. No, it is stored up in pictures... the September sun on Josiah's face, his smile beaming up at me, his once-combed-hair floating on the breeze... my son, age 8.
Blessings on your day.