This morning, I was in a hurry to get myself and my son ready to go and out the door so that we could start our days. I was heading to work, and he was heading to his Grandparents' house for the day. I had taken a Benadryl to help me sleep and because with two new cats in the house, I was trying to head off any new allergies at the pass. So, needless to say, I was experiencing full on Benadryl Haze. Have you been there? You feel tired, sort of light, maybe even a little buzzed. That was me this morning.
For those of you who aren't my Facebook friends, we adopted two kittens two days ago. Our previous two, Hershey and Smudge, have both passed on after living full lives deep into their teens. We have felt the loss, and Will has, too. The house has just been too quiet. We are looking forward to the joy and companionship that two new kittens will bring.
So back to today - I was in my Benadryl Haze, and after I got Will out of bed the very first thing he said to me was 'Can you let the kitties out?' At least initially, we are keeping them in a kennel with litter, food, water and beds. They haven't been declawed, and we want to be sure they won't tear anything up. We have a pretty short amount of time to get going in the morning, but I decided to let them out because it would make Will happy.
Now the other night, I dropped a Gatorade lid on the floor on accident and Savannah, the grey and white kitten, pounced on it. Both kittens have been playing with it and carrying it around in their mouths ever since. This morning, Will found it and started throwing it to Savannah, and she would chase it. He was running around with this joyous laughter that was just making me grin from ear to ear. If I could bottle that sound, I would. I stood there thinking to myself, this is what it's all about. I can't quite come up with a name for it, but that moment when you hear the sound of laughter that just stops you in your tracks because it is so beautiful when it happens.......that's what this was for me.
Okay, here is one of those honest moments you'll find in my blog from time to time. I struggle with this big time. I struggle with worry that I sometimes rob Will of his joy. He is by nature one of the most joyful boys you will ever meet. As his Daddy, though, it's my job (along with his Mommy) to reign him in and discipline him when he needs it. It's just that, in doing that sometimes, I feel like I'm wiping the smile and laughter right off of his face. I know it's part of the territory, but sheesh, it sure isn't easy. Especially when you are a people pleaser like me. I have been praying that God will grant me the patience and calmness I need to be a good Daddy to Will, and to do everything I can to help him bring his joy out rather than stealing it from him. I'm not even sure if any of this is making any sense. But I can tell you that when he was throwing that lid around, laughing and squealing with delight as he did it, that is a moment I always want to remember. I want to be the kind of Dad who stops what I'm doing and takes the time to be goofy, have fun, play in the rain and snow, play endless games of 'ghost' and 'switcheroo' (silly little games Will and I have sort of made up). He is at the age where he looks up to me, and that scares me sometimes, but makes me so proud others. I pray he always does and that I always lead him the right way.
I have a note to myself scribbled on my white board at work. It says 'Someone is looking up to you. Don't let them down.' That someone is Will. He is just about to turn four, and still at the age where he has his innocence and is just so full of joy and enthusiasm and wonder. I pray he never loses that. I pray he spends many days running around, laughing, and squealing with delight as he was on this day. The sound of his laugh is like music to my ears.