Today as I waited in line to check out in the grocery store, I watched a 3 year old boy. Blond curls, lively eyes, questions bursting forth like machine gun fire. I don't think the fellow stood still for more than a minute. His mom was patiently answering his questions. He stopped what he was doing for just a moment to look me over. "Hi." he said, in a very matter of fact way. "Hello," I said right back. His mom chatted while we waited. Her little boy reminded me of a little boy that used to live at my house. He's 21 now. Lives on the other side of the state.
I pack up my groceries, thinking. It's been a busy weekend. We went to a party for my nephew Bill, home from Afghanistan. He's been home for a while, but we haven't seen him. Ironically, after all the praying while he was in a war zone, he came home safely, but a grinder exploded while he worked towards getting his warrant officer rank. They had to do surgery on his eyes. But he looks good. His wife, Ang, looks serene and happy to have him back at her side. Bill's brother, Jim, was home too with his wife, Sarah. He got badly injured in Iraq about 6 months before Bill went to Afghanistan. After nearly a year and a half at Walter Reed, Jim's been discharged from the Army. He looks good too. His limp is not something you'd notice unless you were looking for it. Even though he talks with his hands, you don't even really notice the missing fingers too much. He's our Jim and he's back. Kellie was there with her new baby. Kristie came with her two children. Cara was there. Nieces. Nephews. My own girl. Grown up and moving along in their own directions, some with children of their own. I remember them all as babies. They all had blond curls which darkened as they grew. All of them were lively. Full of questions. Full of beans and childish giggling. I remember how each one of them fit comfortably on a hip. Couldn't do that now. They're all taller than me. Every dadburn one of them except for my own Cara.
What a lovely night around a bonfire. The children are gone, but the adults laughing together in the firelight are pretty amazing people.
I do so love life.