A few days ago, Liam and I took Lily (our dog) for a walk in the afternoon. I was wearing Liam on my chest. It was our first afternoon (instead of morning nap time) walk in a long time, so it was the first time in a while that Liam was significantly awake on a walk. I was trying to wrangle Lily and obsessing over some minor detail of life, when I realized that Liam had tipped his head back so that he could look straight up at the trees.
Do you wear glasses or contacts? I remember when I first got glasses, in the fourth grade. After I put them on, I couldn’t believe the clarity I had been missing in life, all around me. I remember thinking, The trees have such gorgeous individual leaves! On the way home, I believe I read every billboard aloud to my mother, simply because I could read them.
That was Liam on our walk. I think for the first time on a walk, he was both old enough, and awake enough, to be able to look around and see things clearly. As we continued our walk, he would look up, and then crane his neck to the right, and then to the left. The fall leaves! The bare branches! A flock of birds! Occasionally, he would stop looking around, look into my eyes instead, and give me a huge gummy grin.
In response, I got out of my own head and looked around. Liam had chosen a great day to be awake. The trees were absolutely on fire with their fall foliage. It’s one of my favorite times of year, and I had been missing it until my baby boy reminded me to just pay attention.