Keep watch

Little boy looking out plane window

“I see cars!” my son says, his face pressed against the window.

“Good. Jack, what else do you see?” I ask.

“It’s sunny! It’s sunny!” he declares with a grin.

We discuss the clouds and the wing and the plane’s descent; he’s testing his growing vocabulary, a tiny reporter riveted by the world around us. Eventually Jack sighs and settles back in my lap. I kiss his head.

While our plane dips toward Orlando, I’m so focused on landing with minimal crying/disruption/noise, I don’t appreciate the sweetness of this exchange until later. Looking back, it’s my most poignant memory from this vacation.

If we let it, parenthood imparts us a second chance to see the world anew, to witness its startling beauty through the eyes of our children. It wakes us up to the wonder of an ordinary moment, looking out an airplane window.

Although I’m the one that started our game of observation, on the way home, closing in on Chicago, Jack initiates it.

“I see planes! I see lights!” he says, turning to me, eyes dancing.

“That’s great, buddy,” I reply. “What else do you see?”

Lately I’m realizing I too need to keep watch for goodness in the world. To look for the light. It is the only way to seize hope when all looks grim.

Keep watch. Seize hope. Our children are leading the way.

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