Sunday, April 8, 2018

Out on the River In Batman's Shoes

It seems like yesterday when I wrote the story of your birth. Six years later we're here at the river of peace. My river. My place. The soft sounds of birds and water mingling, crisp air and sunshine, the threat of rain and the quack of Mallards.  I sit and contemplate. Feeding ducks and watching sunsets. The rocks and water you love so much. And today, I am watching you climb. You are climbing  farther and farther away .....
"Don't go too far! Baby Beans!" I shout. "And don't run. Don't run on the rocks. Just walk slowly and watch your step. Careful. Slow and steady."

It's not so much the river I fear. It's those blasted beautiful chunks of granite beneath your little Batman shoes. I'm not out there with you. Just watching from my own safe rocky seat, perched with a camera, a banana, a water bottle that keeps rolling away, and the eagle eye of a grandmother who knows all too well the lightning speed of time, how it steals the years before you know it, slips from your grasp...and suddenly, you're sitting in a nice safe river space watching your own baby beans jump from rock to rock, adventure to adventure. "I wanna go THIS way, Mimi, Look at MEeeeee!"
and each time I say, "Careful my boy. Slow and steady. Watch your step. Slow down."
We'll come back tomorrow, I think to myself....we'll have another day. More time.
Except. Maybe we won't. 

Strangely, I feel that time for me is slowing down to a nice slow anticipated finale, which will unexpectedly crescendo into new adventures. Perhaps my mood is based on the smell of algae at my feet.  Life pushed me here ya know. In a hurry. Work to do. Bills to pay. One hundred things to do each day for the last twenty years in the name of surviving... just so I can get to this riverbank day, and a few short months from the promising world of retirement, also known as Phase 3 in the Life of Mimi.

I used to bring your older brother to this same river.  We had marvelous days of exploring and side-quacked moments. I miss him here with us today, but feel him alongside us nonetheless.

Baby Beans jumps and I hear a splash. One shoe drops in the water. It's time for a water rescue. Oh!! Never mind, he's got this. "Slow down, my boy. Be careful...."
The words unheeded by the boy reverberate back in waves down the river, flowing in reverse to me like an echo, lapping in wisdom at my tennis-shoes now wet with worry and visions of a swiftly changing world just down the road of my crazy life swirl in my head like the rings of ripples caused by the skipping of rocks thrown gingerly in the water by the hand of the boy you see standing firmly in a red shirt and fearless face. Words. Words you see, always flow back to the one who sent them.  I know that I must heed my own words.

"Slow down.  Be careful. Don't run. Choose carefully. Don't run. Watch what you're doing, Mimi. Slow and steady."
I'm reminded that each day is important, not just the finish line. 
I'm skipping from rock to rock too. Carefully choosing which way to go. Will I fall? Will I lose my shoe in the river like you did? Who will be there to fetch it out for me? Will I be strong enough to dive in and gather it myself?

We come in from the bank and start to climb up the small cliff towards home. You see me tentatively sizing up a large rock in front of me, considering how to get down to the other side without falling. Without a word you hold out your little hand.
 "I need to help my Mimi," you say to yourself, but loud enough for my heart to skip a beat at the goodness in you. "Here. Hold my hand." I take your ball-throwing fingertips in the age-spotted curl of my hand and you squeeze my hand so tightly. 
"Now jump!" you tell me, "Jump!"

With all that could go wrong with this plan of yours - the dirty rocks below, sharp edges and visions of  a skinned-up me,  I do not hesitate. You get me over the crevasse in one piece and we walk on. I can see, in the flash of two lifetimes - mine and yours - how some things are just a matter of holding on, trusting the hand in front of you, and taking a leap of miniscule faith.  

 I think today I shall stop calling you Baby Beans. Your hands and your heart are strong. 
You're going to be just fine.
And so am I.

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The Gal Herself said...

Another beautiful day of "exploring and side-quacked moments." Looks like you have a stout-hearted companion to accompany you on Phase 3.

Shannon W. said...

Eloquent writing and a beautiful story.

Mimi Lenox said...

Gal - Phase 3! Phase 3! I am so ready for Phase 3!
That boy is something, Gal. He's something.

Shannon - Thank you, hon. I will remember his little hand and "I need to help my Mimi" sweet.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh this was so wonderful to read, Mimi. Just beautiful. Yes, maybe now he is Big Boy Beans.

Mark In Mayenne said...

Good morning Mimi. Thank you for this.

Susan said...

That moment of taking hands, of feeling the magic of transformation is a holy moment. This is a holy writing! Thank you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Sherry - Thank you for visiting me here on the blog river and the REAL river too. Big Boy Beans has a nice ring to it. I'll see what he says about it. LOL

Mimi Lenox said...

Good morning, Mark. How are things in France?
Good to see you!

Mimi Lenox said...

Susan - He is a special child and I am blessed by all my boys. Thank you for the beautiful comment. The river and the rhyme were in sync that day. Words flow like my river sometimes. I was so moved by his kindness. I will never forget that little hand reaching out...

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