This past weekend, we took my two sons, Liam and Waylan, to visit some family land outside of Joplin, Missouri.
The intent was to check out a place for a family get-together to celebrate October birthdays and have a small family reunion.
We did not plan to stay long, just check out the land and brainstorm how to set it up.
What started as: “Hey, let’s take a country drive“, turned into an epic adventure worthy of its own memory file.
Pin this for later…
Saturday, October 9, 2021 will live in my boys’ memories as one of the best days of their youth.
When we arrived at the dock, the boys saw the inviting paddle boat, begging to be out on the windy lapping waves. Justin, my fiancé, and Liam, my oldest son, cleaned out the boat and took her for a pleasure cruise while Waylan, my youngest son, and I sat on the dock watching them paddle their way around the intimate family lake.
The October sun was hot with a steady breeze in full swing. I took my shoes off, rolled up my jeans, and stuck my feet in the startlingly cold water. Waylan did the same. We sat for a few minutes soaking up the fall sun, beautiful view, and feel of the cold water on our toes.
I looked at my son’s feet and saw, in my mind’s eye, the baby I once held.
The tiny feet I kissed and tickled when he was just a roly-poly little guy, toddling around the living room of our family home.
Rapidly growing are those feet, along with the rest of my son.
Reminiscing about his journey thus far, at the rife old age of nine (minus two weeks), I contemplated the journey those growing feet would take him next.
After about five minutes, he asked if he could swim. Not prepared in the least with swimming trunks, fresh clothes, and a towel, it took less than ten seconds of staring at that adventurous, highly convincing little boy face, to give in.
Less than a minute later, he was standing, naked but for his undies, at the edge of the dock, planning his magical ascension into the turquoise water where my feet were still dangling in the sun.
When Liam saw his brother in the water, he could not get back to the dock quick enough to join in the autumn swimming hole fun.
The afternoon quickly passed by as both boys jumped, dove, and somersaulted their way into the chilly rippling water. They laughed, they screamed, they dared each other, and tried to out-do the other brother.
It was a joyful experience to watch. Boys being boys. No electronics in sight. Sheer excitement, adventure, and full appreciation for God’s marvelous playground.
It felt like the infamous good ole days I often read about, but seldom experience. Like I was sitting smack-dab in the middle of a Norman Rockwell painting; a mom dangling her feet in the water, watching her two boys on a rope swing, jumping into the water, wearing only their underwear, and a huge, excited smile on each of their innocent little boy faces.
The day was nearly perfect, but for the fact that it had to end.
We often plan for events in life to go perfectly.
I am finding, the older I get, that the best days spent, are often those with no agenda, where you spontaneously allow the day to unfold and surprise you with unchartered memory-making delight.