It’s not often that one is allowed the chance to relive moments that have made life so valuable. But I was. And I did. And while last Saturday’s moments were all about the here and the now, the striking repeat of past ones blurs the lines of age and just memories.
Saturday I saw some things again in living clarity. I saw the nervousness. I saw the attentiveness. I saw the politeness and the desire to do what was needed.
I saw the eyes. Again, I saw the eyes. Suddenly I was in my 30s again, and memories that once were there seemed to become things that had never happened. But they had happened, and I am well beyond my 30s.
It was the eyes that so clearly blurred things.
The eyes looking my way. The eyes searching for acceptance and approval. The proud eyes aimed at the proud ones of an old man. And the eyes of success after a simple and honest smile and a thumbs-up from the old man granted that acceptance and approval.
I saw those eyes before. Many times but long ago. I saw them in a different place. And I remember them. I recall them to myself often. Saturday was a day to relive them.
When the kid was around four or five, I took my son to his first T-Ball practice. He was nervous that day. But he was attentive. And polite to his coaches. And he did everything he was asked to do. And whether he did those things right or not didn’t seem to matter to him as long as the old man in the stands smiled at him and accepted and approved.
I sort of knew that what happened would happen the way it did. That is why I so readily and boldly volunteered to do what I have wanted to do again for over 20 years. My son is nearly 28 years old now. He had work to do, and I had business that took me close to my son’s home. And last Saturday, my oldest grandson had his first basketball practice. He is five. I took the young guy to his first practice.
I place no real value on my parenting skills. I place even less on my grand-parenting ones. But on re-lived moments where generations and hearts and past and present one more time connect through the eyes of a five-year-old and an old man, well… that’s valuable.
And so rare.