This morning, Pablo woke me up with his usual statement. He popped his head up from his pillow, and said, 'Papa, I'm not tired anymore. Do you want to go upstairs with me and do something?' Just like that, he jump started my day. How can you go wrong with an invitation to 'do something' before 8 a.m.?
We got out of bed, climbed the stairs and looked for that special something. Pablo knew exactly what he wanted to do: a game of Enchanted Forest. I have to admit, it's the only game in his collection I don't like to play. In fact, in all the times I've played it, I have no clue what the rules are, or what the objective is. But I dove in enthusiastically, eating my brek in between rolls of the dice. It was a pivotal game for me: my little boy taught me how to play the game! In his own words, he explained the objective, and showed me how to strategize. Believe me, I've learned innumerable lessons from Pablo since the day he was born. To receive a gaming lesson from Pablo is a whole new thing. The sweetness of the moment was not lost on either of us. He could see my amazement. After he showed me a few tricks, I grabbed him and held him in my arms. And then he proceeded to kick my a**! He is a great player. And his patter during the game is off-the-rack comedy.
When I got home from work, Polly told me that Pablo was quiet, almost maudlin, for most of the day. I could see it the minute I saw him. Polly remarked that he was allowed to have feelings, like the rest of us. True. Like Pablo's gaming instruction skills, it's just new. Set against the backdrop of the treatment and the constant pressure, these moments are magnified in their happiness and sadness and in-between-ness. What made this late afternoon moment poignant is that also I'd been maudlin all day. Strange how that works out between a father and a son.
When people say to make every moment count, this is what they're talking about.