Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Seeing Things

It was the mid-1990s, Granddaddy and I were in the back seat of Aunt Marilyn's car. I don't know where we were going or who else was there, but I remember looking out my window at Rockhold Creek. I saw a kingfisher and excitedly pointed it out to the rest of the car.

Granddaddy was excited too. I've never known anyone who could get so much joy out of small things. He took my hand and squeezed it.

"I'm so glad you SEE things. Not everybody does," he said with a proud smile.

I was in my early twenties, but I was Granddaddy's girl. It made me warm and giddy to think I'd pleased him. Proud too, that this "seeing things" was something we shared. Something I inherited from him.

My boys see things too.

Gabe is the champion of things no one else notices. The bit of trash shaped like an elephant. The microscopic manufacturer's star on the back window of our old mini-van. The chicken pox scar on my forehead.

But Matt sees things the way Granddaddy did.

Gabe has piano lessons on Thursday night and between school and work and commute times, I stoop (and they cheer) to fast food. The boys take turns choosing a restaurant. Gabe's favorite is Subway. Matt's is Sonic.

A few weeks ago, we sat devouring our burgers and tots, when Matt leaned toward the windshield to stare into the sky.

"Is that a bald eagle?"

I followed his gaze. White head, white tail, HUGE bird.

"I think it is!"

It turned out to be the first of two eagles we saw that week. Both were very special, but made all the more so by the thought of Granddaddy doing his heavenly happy dance over our ability to see things.

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