Sliding Into Home

My youngest little turned to me a few nights ago and said, “Mom, I want to tell you something, but please promise not to be sad or upset.”

I assured him that I could handle whatever it was that he wanted to share, so he went on.

“When I was at practice today I saw a mom and her little boy on the playground. They were looking for something and then the mom climbed up and went down the slide and something in me triggered. I wanted to fall down on the ground and bang my head and cry.”

He slid his hand into mine, searching my face expectantly for my reaction. I think I did a good job of not betraying the chasm that cracked right through the beating of my heart. I smiled. I thanked him for sharing that with me. I told him I am sorry that his mom can not do a lot of the things other moms can do. We agreed it was hard and sad and unfair. And then I crooked-pinky-promised him that I was going to go down the slide.

Most kids get excited about a play date with friends, a new toy, the weight of a lemonade stand’s worth of quarters in their pocket… at the words that his mom would go down the slide with him, my boy’s face lit up like Christmas morning covered in a blanket of snow. “Actually?!” He beamed. “Absolutely. There are a lot of things I cannot do, but I can figure out how to slide with you.”

So transpired the day that we drove to the park, maneuvered the obstacle course to the top of the slide (because why just have simple stairs?), and made time stand still to the sound of my shoes squeak-clunking down the blue plastic slide that gave my son a moment of the most joyous normal that he could have imagined. He watched me slide, rode on my lap down the slide, and raced me down the double slide.

Even though there will always be things we miss out on together, I pray that every time he sees a slide instead of that painful trigger he will be filled with the memory of the day I said yes to reaching for more, challenging the limits, and grabbing hold of the joy that makes my hard story worth it.

8 thoughts on “Sliding Into Home”

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