One of the Guys

Furry and his mom came over the other night.

I was also sitting for a neighbor's 7 year old.

Bob stopped by.

My sister called.

It was one of those perfect spring evenings where my house seemed like the hub where all points met. There was a roast in the oven, laughter around the table, wine in the fridge and music in the air.

It's nights like this that I cherish because I've learned what a luxury it is.

So, with this in mind I witnessed a moment.

The older boys were playing Trouble in the living room floor. Furry toddled over to watch, quietly planting his diapered butt between them. He watched the two boys take turns hitting the pop-o-matic and moving their pieces.
Back and forth he turned his toddler head - eyes fixed on the player in action. He figured it out pretty quick and then he made his move. He stuck his arm in and touched the plastic dome; smiled and then pulled his arm back. He continued to do this for the next 30 minutes – never grabbing the board or mussing the pieces. Just patiently waiting until his “turn” when he could put his hand in the middle like the big boys.

Pure acceptance. I know that's what he felt. Maybe he doesn't know what pride is, but I imagine how he might have felt in that moment. The big boys weren't pulling their stuff away. The grown ups weren't trying to cuddle him. No one as harrassing him to perform his latest accomplishment of walking or patty cake. No one was asking him where his belly button was.

He was basically being ignored...and accepted. He was just one of the guys.

Later, when his mom called him away for a breathing treatment he was equally proud. He stood up holding the tiny mask to his face and turned to face the boys across the room. He removed the mask just for a moment to babble for their attention. They looked up and a big smile spread across his face. "Look," he seemed to say, "Look what I can do!" He tried to toddle to them, but was tethered by the limits of the tubing attached to the mask. So, instead he stopped and removed the mask to extend it as far as his arms would reach. He was trying to share his breathing treatment with them, as they had shared their game.

I hope this child is always at ease with whatever this illness may bring. I hope he is never too self conscious to do what he needs to do to keep his body healthy. I hope he always remembers to find the magic in the moment.

Because this - this moment right now - is such a luxury.