It often happens subtly. In most cases, they don’t even know that I am witnessing their reaction. But these small, genuine moments take place nearly every day.
These moments, as short as they are, serve as a reinforcement to Mrs. LIAYF and I that this period of time is unfortunately all too fleeting in the grand scheme of our lives. And, that we shouldn’t for one moment take it for granted.
Whether it be an older couple, children long since grown, who give each other a look of acknowledgement and memory as we pass by with our little guy. Or the young couple, perhaps dating or newly married who do not yet have children of their own, who simultaneously smile while turning their heads over their shoulders as we walk by. Or even the stoic teenager who tries to, but can’t, stifle a smile when my little guy speaks to him with his still developing vocabulary.
We are currently experiencing, multiple times a day, events like these which brought brief moments of happiness to those people’s days.
For instance, just this morning while simply driving through the city on our way to my son’s daycare, I witnessed two such interactions. We stopped at one stoplight next to a woman perhaps in her 30’s impeccably dressed in her business suit. She looked serious. However, when she looked over at my 3-year-old, wide eyed in his car seat, she broke into a huge smile.
Not three stoplights further up the same street we pulled up to a middle-aged man driving with what appeared to his be his teenage son in the passenger seat. Lukas was reading a toy catalog at the time. The man looked over, smiled, then tapped his son on the shoulder and pointed out my little guy. The two seemed to share a moment.
Unknown to them, I shared that moments too. Watching these types of reactions gives me great joy. And, when these moments do take place, I rarely fail to reflect on what I am lucky to be experiencing. Maybe it’s because I am an older first time dad, maybe not – but no matter the reason, I keep thinking to myself “Wow! That is pretty cool.”
Watching my child grow and develop from an infant into a little boy has been a daily blessing for me. I know it will not always be so magical. Or such joy inducing. But while it is, I will be here soaking it in.
And also, peering out of the corner of my eye to catch other peoples’ reactions.