This is my sister-in-law, Kristie, and our nephew, Tyler. We’ve all heard the expression, “time stood still.” It’s a cliché, but it really happened this morning.
Yesterday, Tyler asked if he could drive back in the car with his mom and us, instead of waiting another day and riding with his grandparents. We planned to get an early start.
So at 7:30 today, Kristie woke Tyler to give him a few minutes before packing him into the back seat. Ty is 9 years old, has discovered that he loves playing football and seems well on his way to developing a football build. He is smart and so, so funny.
Yesterday, we were sitting together as Tyler showed me his many mosquito bites. “And here’s another one…”
His grandma heard us from the kitchen.: “Well I have one too- a mosquito bit me on my bum. Can you believe it?”
“On your bum, Grandma? How did it get you there?”
“I don’t know. It just got up in there somehow…”
Tyler turns to me and whispers very seriously, very grimly:
“For once I feel sorry for a mosquito.”
The smile starts in the corner of his mouth and spreads until we are both laughing. His grandma is puzzled: “What did he say?” This makes us laugh even harder.
This kid is normally so full of wit and energy and enthusiastic chatter. He rarely stops moving. But at 7:30 in the morning, he is slow and quiet as he rubs his eyes and pads around the living room in his bare feet. His grandparents are still sleeping. We talk in hushed tones. Ty seems to be roaming around a little aimlessly.
Kristie says, “Here, you want to come in for some cuddles?” The rambunctious, big, football-playing kid crawls into his mom’s lap and nestles in. Something starts to happen, like when a mother holds her newborn, but Tyler is far from newly born.
For a brief, quiet moment, everything is perfect. Here it is, maybe 10 seconds long, when the clock stops. Absolute and unquestionable contentment. The living room, the cabin and the world outside- everything fades away except for Kristie and Tyler, mother and son. Kristie’s love encircles the two of them like some invisible, but very tangible and discernible bubble.
I ask to take this picture, and, as I speak, time starts moving again. But it’s okay. I’m just so moved and blessed to be here.