He stood in the middle of the yard with grass so tall it tickling his ankles. Just minutes before he was rolling in it; loving the feel of fresh cut blades against his arms and legs, it was the perfect place to relax away from his sisters. He would have stayed there longer but he knew it was time to play the game. So he jumped up with a ball in one hand and a silly smile on his face. He looked around, checked the bases. Adjusted his imaginary hat, wound-up the pitch and let it fly. He watched the ball sail… a good two feet away. His smile grew bigger as he nodded his head in approval, satisfied with the results. He lifted his hands over his head, acknowledging the fan’s cheers and smiling at the opponents jeers. He just won the game with that single pitch.
At least that’s what I imagine was going through Marshall’s head as he played baseball by himself in the backyard. At the time I was standing by the sink washing the cups the kids had just used for dinner and would ask to drink from before bed. A nightly routine that we all know isn’t necessary, but gives the kids a few more minutes before going to sleep.
Initially I was looking down, grumbling in my head about the disappointment I felt about the day. I’m not sure what I had expected. The husband turned 40 and nothing was done. No party, no going out to dinner, heck the only gift he got was a half day off to take me to the hospital a few days later. So in general both of our birthdays didn’t go as planned… or maybe that had more to do with lack of planning. Either way… today was not what I had wanted. And the reality was I did nothing to make it better. I just wasted the day away wishing for things that I knew couldn’t be.
And then I looked up and saw that little boy standing barefooted in the grass. He was looking so pleased at his accomplishment, something others would view as a failing, but to him was a job well done. I admit it; I teared up and mentally slapped myself. That’s what life lived out should look like. We shouldn’t waste a single moment on the things that didn’t happen. Instead we need to grab a moment and hug it to our chest like Marshall did.
That’s the gift my little boy gave me today,
a simple moment to hug to my chest and store in my heart.