18 April 2005

Little bits of joy

    Lovely to know the warmth
    You're smile can bring to me
    I want to tell you but the words you do not know
      The Moody Blues
I had this wonderful little moment yesterday afternoon that has stuck with me, so I'll share it here.

With spring comes the annual shoring up of the deck. Our deck is losing its battle with weather and decay. Each year, I patch and shore it up, trying to eek one more year out of the thing. There this "privacy screen" thing on one side; a sort of wall to keep the neighbors from seeing what we do, or maybe to keep people on the deck from looking in the nearby bathroom window. It gets shorter each year as I remove boards to replace the rotting floor of the deck. This year I was also underneath, adding some additional lumber to the rotting joists. Looks like the deck has one more summer left in it.

That wasn't the wonderful moment, mind you. The underside of a rotting deck is a less than pleasant location. Late in the day everyone had gone in. Sharon was cooking. Knowing my older dauther, she was reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. My youngest came back out, though. She took up her lawnmower and started around the yard (getting the places Mommy missed, I'd later find out).

For a couple minutes I just laid under the deck watching her wander around the yard. She stopped for a minute to rock on a see-saw toy. Then it was back to mowing. You hear a lot about the importance of "unscheduled time" for kids. This was why. She wasn't bored or lazy. She was outside on her own, with no planned activity, just having a great time making things up as she went. It was a joy to watch.
Eventually she noticed me under the deck, and I got to join the fun. I found out we were playing hide-n-seek. She took off for a few minutes, then came back to tell me she'd found where I was hiding. She found my hiding spot five times.

The deck was a royal pain. My back (backside, to be precise) is killing me from shimmeying around on the rocks underneath the deck. But that's not what I'm thinking about. I'm still watching my daughter get the places Mommy missed.

1 comment:

Jeri said...

Wow. What a nice moment. Thanks for sharing that, Andrew.