Our girl pulls on cotton socks with pandas at the toes and everyone tumbles into nylon shorts and oversized t shirts. We fall out the door trying to beat the stop and start of rush hour traffic.
In my bag I have a ziploc full of popped popcorn-salty and earthy and still a little warm, some jagged-cut time flash cards, coloring supplies jammed in tight, my book and a neon pencil with a waxy yellow tip.
We shuffle through cold mid-winter air into the gymnasium with it’s spit-shined floors and humming lights. I begin two hours of sitting on ramrod wooden bleachers with my back against a cold cement wall.
I correspond. Spend twenty minutes speed catching up with a college friend. Go over the time flashcards with our girl in pink. Read my book.
All the while there is a thrum running underneath. A search for good story. Within the cacophony of basketballs bouncing and shoes squeaking across waxy floors, over and over again my heart is grasping for something more.
I look up and across the gym our five year old boy is sprawled out on his belly, legs kicked up at a perfect angle. He’s chosen oversized basketball shorts, a bright and true red shirt and his black cowboy boots. Only a few inches of his knees, still round with childhood, show between the hem of his shorts and the curve of his boots. He is laughing, his nubbin fingers the perfect resting place for his round and full and rose-red cheeks.
This is the story my heart needs to be told. How in just that quick moment there is peace and freedom and joy. I flutter-float across that gym floor and scoop up that shiny and smooth rock, stuff it in my pocket.
It’s an everyday kind of story.