Sweet Snapshots

photo credit: Geomangio via photopin cc

photo credit: Geomangio via photopin cc

He sat nestled behind a fort made of blankets and pillows, hidden from view and liking it that way. As I came to tuck him in that night he greeted me with that smile. The one that speaks volumes while at the same time revealing his just-brushed grown up teeth amidst his many remaining baby ones.

I immediately knew something was up. You can’t kid a kidder, I always tell him.

His smile continued to tell truths–his words just hadn’t caught up yet.

Ok, out with it.

And he pulled it out from behind his back. A walkie-talkie.

Not just small and black and made of plastic. More. Because in his hands he held the hope of talking with his buddy across the way once lights went out. The buddy who partners in building forts and exploring creeks and getting dirty. The buddy he says he’s going to go live with should his dad and I suddenly leave this earth (and good luck to his brothers in finding a roof for over their heads because there’s no more room at the inn.)

He smiled but a little nervous now. Caught. Thinking he’d be left with empty hands and no way to make his late night appointment with interesting seven-year old conversation best left to the airwaves.

But I smiled back. His eyes widened. The sweet snapshot of childhood grabbed me in that moment. Yes, I thought. Yes. Boys need their forts and walkie-talkies. They need this sometimes. At least tonight.

He needs this tonight.

So we prayed. I tucked. I ran through the obligatory rules about watching the clock on a school night and being responsible. He nodded, invigorated by freedom in the form of an item small enough to secure under his pillow.

I left him to it.

And I let the snapshot linger. It made me smile then and it makes me smile now.

Being the fun parent is not always ice cream before dinner (or heck, just ice cream after dinner) or skipping that bath. It doesn’t always wear the mask of jumping on the trampoline or buying trinkets or declaring it a “no vegetable day”.

It doesn’t always brazenly stick out its chin in defiance at old mama routine, sassy and carefree for an afternoon when new mama takes over. It’s not always a little extra this and nah, forget about that.

It sometimes means those things. But not always.

It’s sometimes simple. It’s sometimes merely allowing. 

Sweet snapshots of childhood–easy, mere moments in time. We can allow them and bless them.

Because those snapshots accumulate, you know. Into albums and albums and albums. Blessings, all.

One walkie-talkie and one fort at a time.