nine and a half

picture by Sam, today at the pond

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
{Robert Frost, Prayer in Spring}

I kept thinking of this poem (admittedly just bits and pieces of it) as Sam and I spent the morning, thanks to a teacher work day at the elementary school, walking around Walden Pond and, later, riding bikes around our neighborhood. Spring is at its fullest today, this very minute. All the tulips and blossoms and popping buds are at their peak color and form. Another few hours, it feels like, and it will be lesser, wilted spring. On her way to summer.

Sam feels like that to me, too, these days. I'd like to keep him here in the springing of his life, just preserve this version of him for a while longer. I can't think of anything I don't like about his nine-and-a-half-year-old self. He's curious. He's funny. He's handsome in an awkward, big tooth hatching, unselfaware way. He wears his emotions right out in front, practically pinned to his shirt. He's game for whatever comes his way (except maybe too much time in the car). And everything about life is interesting to him...everything! I'm sometimes startled by the topics that are running around his head when he suddenly gives me a view in there. Here are some random topics that came up out of the blue during our walk. We'd be walking along in a companionable silence and he would burst out with:

Where does a penguin fit in the food chain of Antarctica? In the middle?

* * *

Description of a Mythbuster episode that was looking at whether Macgyver's construction of an airplane from duct tape, a cement mixer and something else could really happen (answer=not really).
Me: "Do you know who Macgyver is? Did they tell you on the Mythbuster show?"
S: "He's kind of a famous explorer."
Well, kind of.

* * *

How did the sound shhhh come to mean "be quiet"?

* * *

Intricate outlining plots of several books he's read. (I'm ashamed to admit my mind wandered a bit during some of this.)

* * *
Mom, how many sharps or flats does B minor have?

* * *

I'm trying not to do my typical mental leaping ahead "to the uncertain harvest," which for me can be anything as soon as what will we have for dinner? to distant worries like am I giving them enough to prepare them for their lives? where will they go to college? will they find both work to do that gives them joy and someone to love? I need days like today with Sam to remind me how delicious it is to simply enjoy the springing of the year. Nothing more, no agendas, no mental leaping. Just here + now.