Those Eyes …

img_27212Those are the eyes I’m always going to remember.

Nate and I went to the skateboard park the other day. He got lost in the concrete crowd, among a bunch of boys who were about three times his height, and tried to hold his own among the “bowls” and “rails” and “ramps.” He’d hang back, watch the other kids, then throw his board down and give things a try. I was proud of him. He looked fearless. He has his sticker-covered helmet, his scratched-up forehead, and enough holes in his jeans to give clear commentary that he’s a boy who’s not afraid of much.

Every 20 minutes or so, though, he’d ride back in my direction. He’d kick up his board, throw off his helmet and plop into the grass by my feet under the shade of the tree.

I would put my book down and ask him how it was going. “They’re good,” he’d say, shrugging a little and glancing over his shoulder at the bigger kids.

But then he’d smile at me, with his hand under his chin, and look at me in that way, with those eyes. He’s still my little guy. He still comes back and finds his comfort near me, every 20 minutes. Next month it’ll be every 30 minutes. Then next year it’ll be every hour. Then … maybe … not so much. Then he’ll be one of the big kids, doing his own thing. Fearless and not so much needing Mom, who brought him the Thermos of water and has the shady spot under the tree. …

But for now –

Those eyes. …

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11 thoughts on “Those Eyes …

  1. Thanks, ladies! I know you both have boys, too. I love the interplay between their rough-and-tumbleness and their sweetness. …

  2. Well, Laurie, your blog is up there with the best of them in my opinion. You just scored further tear-jerking points, since our nest is now (or currently?) empty…

  3. Laurie, I was really taken by this shot of Nate. And you are right, those eyes do something to you. They capture you right off. I know the feeling Laurie, you watch them grow up and slip away right before your eyes. The funny thing is you teach them to slip away, so to speak, and then you are saddened when they do. Those eyes, almost every parent sees them in their children at some point or other….They say “I love you”….when you see them it is such a feeling, you want time to stop so that you can enjoy them a little longer. You captured them perfectly. Ahhh!, those eyes…..

  4. I will be taking those eyes and that completely awesome little guy to the game tonight and I don’t know if I’ll see much of the game because I enjoy watching him enjoy the game!
    Laurie I think you’ve captured him so perfectly. There is a little imp,, a little Indiana Jones, a little Evel Knievel and all love.
    You know I am a sappy dad, and you had to put this perfect picture up. I have to get a new Iphone now as this one is drenched in tears!

  5. Judy and Rosy — Thanks so much for the kind feedback. I always have trouble posting these really personal ones because I never know if anyone is going to like them (I often hit “Post” with my eyes closed!). So your feedback means more to me than you know.

    Johnny and Chris — Well, as relatives to Nate, you guys know what I mean! Dad, you really nailed it when you said “the funny thing is you teach them to slip away … and then you are saddened when they do.” Well said! And Chris, I love your description of imp/Indiana Jones/Evel Knievel … score!

  6. Awww man… This one got me RIGHT THERE *points to heart* I’m the mother of a boy and I REALLY hope he still wants to hang out with me when he’s bigger.

  7. IzzyMom — Hello! Welcome! I love your blog. Thank you so much — yes, boys hold our hearts a little differently, don’t they? I should add that Nate saw this post, and he turned around and said (completely serious) “I’m NOT going to stop coming over and visiting you …” He meant it, I know. But I also know better. They do grow up. And they still like hanging out with you, but it’s just in a different way. (It’s not built on “need,” I guess.) But there are so many other cool things to look forward to — it’s a long and wild ride! : )

  8. Pingback: The Year in Posts: 2010 Roundup

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