One day not long ago, I was playing soccer at the park with Matthew, my six year old Grandson. Actually, he was playing and I was limping around after pulling a muscle, thinking my feet still move as quickly as my mind assumes it should. However, I’m learning that assumptions should not be part of the physical mental package as one gets a little older. I told myself the muscle pull was because the field was wet and slick until “myself” just looked back at me and flicked me a glance that was a combination of pity and exasperation. I should have expected that reaction.
Anyway, as we were walking, ( me limping), back to the car, I turned around and noticed that Matthew was well behind me, his head on a swivel. Considering my current physical condition and the fact that he usually has more energy in a five minute span than any one human being possesses in a week, I was surprised he was walking so slow. At first I thought he was taking pity on my condition but I’m not ashamed to admit that I trash talk my grandchildren whenever we play games so I knew sympathy wasn’t going to be dispensed that day. (Let me guess, you’re outraged at the trash talking comment. Whatever. Everyone does it. To six year olds. I suppose.)
As I was saying……we were slowly making our way back to the car and the conversation between us went like this…..
Me: Matthew, let’s go. Why are you walking so slow?
Matthew: I like walking slow.
Me: ( Thinking he has some ulterior motive) Really? Why is that?
Matthew: Because it gives me a chance to see everything and if there’s something I really like, I can look at it again. That’s why I don’t mind sitting in traffic. Not like bad traffic, just slow traffic. I get to see things without it going by too fast.
I didn’t know how to respond to that, so I stopped and sat down in the grass. As I waited for him to reach me, I thought about all the times I only looked straight ahead, focused only on where I needed to be and why I was rushing to get there. I thought about how we’re a “ten cities in eight days” society, and how life can be much more rewarding if we actually stopped and saw things as they were instead of simply glancing as we blow by.
When he finally caught up to me he asked me why I was sitting down. I didn’t say anything at first. I just reached out, took his hand and patted the ground in front of me. As he sat down I wrapped my arms around him and kissed the top of his head.
It’s true that the very best moments of your life are usually not planned. They just fall out of the sky while you are in the middle of doing something else. And they take up residence.
After a few moments he turned and looked up at me and asked if I was okay.
I smiled and told him that I was. Then I asked him to tell me everything he saw.