Our summer rhythm of the last decade has been a bit upended this year.
The combination of my returning to work, the hot weather and life events colliding with
routine has made me feel like we have lived the past months literally
by the seat of our pants, well make that capris or shorts.
We came off of a few days at the beach back into routine and quickly realized
we had no plan for Caleb’s days.
Courtney was on a road trip taking her college best friend to her first teaching job
in Texas and Carlen was working as she should be.
We limped through Monday with Carl coming home at lunch to munch
and shoot baskets with Caleb.
I adjusted my hours to be home an hour earlier which also meant
a shorter commute time 🙂
and sent out few text message pleas (begging) and
friends helped immediately and into next week as well.
It was a triumph to get to Friday, my day off and what was on Caleb’s mind was doing
something outside of the house.
I definitely had my list of somethings as well but Caleb was the priority.
He began the day by FINALLY mastering the art of paper airplanes by reading
a section out of this book:
Simple fulfilling joy.
We had a unhurried lunch at Chapel Pub.
I wanted to eat outside because we could but Caleb wanted to sit
in the air conditioning. I couldn’t argue as these days it is a gift
not to be covered in sweat.
Caleb is approaching 12.
There is still the little boy humor which I have been told
and seen plenty of evidence doesn’t evaporate…ever.
We have begun to have conversations richer in-depth and meaning.
We talked about how it feels to not have Mom always, for the most part, available
to his every need.
He expressed his excitement and nervousness for his new middle school but is
still really sad about how much he will miss his friends in other schools.
He’s holding his breath to find out if he will get to learn to play the guitar in
school next year as a year-long focus or one of his art rotations.
He talked about starting a band with friends.
He always politely declines when asked if he wants to see the children’s menu.
It was a first as he took his time over the menu and ordered something other than a
He snapped up my phone and took a picture of me.
He submitted to a selfie I didn’t have in mind.
This is 11.
We paid the bill and walked over to the library to grab my waiting book loot
and for Caleb to collect on his reading.
Our next stop was a nickel arcade.
We raced around and tried our best to amass as
many tickets as a $5 bag of nickels would allow.
I got to play several games of Centipede so my day was complete.
When it came time to redeem the ticket winnings, I found myself
wanting to direct Caleb to other prizes, better “deals”, you know more
bang for your buck.
If this was truly the case of getting a good deal, we should never have
set foot in the arcade as there really is no way to come out ahead for
any outlay of nickels.
In the end, he spent 490 of his 500 tickets on these items:
A giant pencil and pen and a mini whoopee cushion.
The man at the counter told Caleb he still had 10 tickets to
spend but Caleb said that he was good with what he spent.
But then he decided to buy me two mini Tootsie rolls for 8 tickets.
The counter man said he could have three.
Caleb gasps and with large eyes said “thanks”
and it was the first time I saw the man smile during our visit.
We made our final descent towards home but not before
Caleb cashed in his summer reading prize with a free Slurpee.
(This prize redemption has ceased to change it is always a free Slurpee.)
The days are long and often toasty.
Each moment can easily be filled with essential tasks but what if
now and then we allowed our seconds to be saturated by spending
time in the midst of wonder.
Or lifting our eyes from the relentless black and white lists and
beholding the magnificent shades of wonder which are everywhere.
I recently heard Rob Bell say:
“We need to make it our discipline to not lose wonder.”
Wonder is an 11 year-old reaping the reward of the patience practice
of creating until the first successful flight.
Wonder is found in venturing outside your usual order and tastes.
Wonder does not come packaged in perfectly posed and focused photos.
Wonder is recognizing new paths don’t obliterate the tried
and true ones.
Wonder might just be found while plucking the wrong strings
attempting to bring forth music.
Wonder can be found in a bad investment of nickels.
Wonder is getting something a little extra and puffing up with gratitude.
Wonder can certainly be slurped through a straw.
Wonder doesn’t wait until the house is clean, the fridge is well-stocked
and you are sufficiently rested.
Wonder comes when you let your lungs expand, hands unclench
and surrender to the call,
of scouting for wonder.
Still need convincing my Friday was full of wonder?
- a cause of astonishment or admiration: marvel
- a miracle
- a feeling caused by seeing something that is very surprising,
beautiful, amazing, etc.
- the quality of exciting amazed admiration
- rapt attention or astonishment at something
awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience
- a feeling or doubt or uncertainty
When was the last time you experienced wonder?
Be a wonder seeker.