I spy the mischievous glint in his eyes as he careens towards me in the tiniest wheelchair I’ve ever seen, deftly wheels around the corner and shoots into the next, thankfully empty, aisle. Giggles rise over the tops of the rows, like bubbles from a bottle and wand.
“Tommy, don’t go far from Grandma,” the woman, still in the cereal aisle, calls to him. There is laughter in her voice, as if she were riding along on the back of his chair…or sailing out in a summer wind, hair flying. This is a woman who understands the joy of play, I think, listening and watching out of the corner of my mind… not wanting to butt in on this, their moment.
“HaHaHaHaHaHa..…,” he is bubbling over now, wheeling his chair like a kiddie car under chase, as she moves around the corner after him. “Wheeeeeeee!!!” come his hide ‘n seek giggles, bobbing on the air around me and lifting my heart with the sweetness I hear in his voice. He is not defying her…not really causing an uproar… just calling her into his playfulness. Stopped in the row where she can’t yet see him, head-cocked, listening for her steps to follow.
“I’m surrounded by candy, Grandma,” he sings out, like Hansel discovering a house made of spun sugar and chocolate delights. “Come and get me!”
I turn to pull down some jugs of natural spring water, but as I place them in my cart, I can still hear his contagious song of joy… and I stand pondering the wonder in this tiny scene in the middle of my morning of rushing here and there. Half the day is gone, and I’ve been feeling like I’m accomplishing little, while time slips away so fast…
Now, I remember what it is to be confined to a wheelchair… ruefully recalling my severely broken leg of six years ago, the torture of that time, the frustration and arm-strength it sapped just to get around.
But this child… a boy maybe four years old… is finding adventure in this disability. Temporary or for life… I don’t know. But here, in this moment, he is just a little boy, racing in his super-mobile, breathless with the high-flying chase of it all. Reminding me of another… healthier… little one I know who loves his cars…
“Got you!” his Grandma cries. I see her hugging him close, there at the end of the row. His giggles come a little lower as he hugs her back. She takes the back of his chair, steers him onward and away… but the moment lingers over me…
And suddenly, I’m remembering that heightened sense of play, of the dramatic, of the mysterious… from my own childhood. Something in this moment…watching this boy… brings back a night when my Nancy Drew over-active imagination had me convinced Grandma’s card-playing friends were actually foreign spies who were out to poison me with…oh so cleverly…tainted Baby Ruths. So sure, I could almost hear the film noir music of Bogart’s Sam Spade in the background. (A sign of too much classic movie television…)
Everyone knows Baby Ruths are my favorite, I’d reasoned. Why they’d plot to get me out of the way, I hadn’t quite figured out…still, I was on to them.
“I really thought you’d enjoy these,” Grandma’s friend Nazen had puzzled over my refusal of even one bite. “Won’t you have just… one?”
Ha! I’d thought, rejoicing that she couldn’t see into my mind, where her grin looked just like the devious smiles of schemers in my storybooks. You can’t fool me!
I’d gone home proud to have outwitted them. Yet… ummm… I was wondering too late if maybe I couldn’t have had just a bite of that delectable chocolate…
Ah…Wonder days. When life could become adventure at the drop of a hat…
“It can still be that way…” I hear in my spirit, then. “Give your accomplishment needs to Me… let me infuse you with My joy…”
Words I recently heard someone teaching about His glory rising on us dance over me… and right there in Target I feel it. The light of His adventurous Spirit wooing me on.
Yes, my heart answers. Yes…
© Pam Depoyan
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you…”
Just one more thought about the word, adventure...
Tag: I spy the mischievous glint in his eyes…