Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The perfect moment

By Andy Andrews

I was sitting in a porch swing on a dock watching Austin, my eight-year-old boy, as he fished. There was nowhere I had to be…no one I needed to call. As I look back, it was indeed a peculiar feeling that was about to change me forever.

After a few minutes of not catching anything, he said, “The reason I like to fish is because when everything is still and quiet, your whole self is full of hoping. And whether you catch anything or not, you get to hope. It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? Hope, I mean. It’s next best to excitement.”

I agreed that it was.

The sun was sinking low over the water when he said, “Dad? Let’s throw the football. Stand over there and I’ll stand here. That way the sun won’t be in either of our faces.”

We passed the ball back and forth in silence. Then he said, “I’m going long.”

“Go!” I answered. He turned, running hard, all elbows and knees as I arched the ball high into the air. It spiraled perfectly, then settling softly over my son’s left shoulder as he caught it and fell dramatically onto the sand.

“Touchdown!” he yelled.


He sat up and said, “Dad! Stop!”

I did.

“Look!” he insisted as he came closer. He grinned widely. I chuckled as I noticed the gap where his two front teeth used to be. “Dad, don’t you see?” he said. I shook my head, mystified.

“No,” I told my boy. I did not see.

“Well,” he began, “think about it… The sun went down, so it’s not in anybody’s eyes, but it is still light enough to throw the football. The sand is soft enough to fall on, and the temperature is not too hot and it’s not too cold. And it’s just you and me here together.”

“Dad,” he said, “it’s just perfect.”

And it was.

As I sit here today in what the world calls the “middle age” years of my life, I ask, “How many moments have I missed that were just perfect?”

I want to live a happy life, one for which I am grateful and acutely aware of time well spent. From this day forward, I will notice the joy on a child’s face, not the chocolate left on the couch. I will notice clean sheets, the roof over my head, and see opportunities to help or teach. And though I will continue to question, to grow, and to learn, I know now that I must never again let a special moment pass without reminding myself, that…
“WOW! This…right here, right now…is just perfect!”

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