He pounds the leather mitt across his thigh as his head tilts upward watching an airplane plunge through the clouds.
Oblivious to all the screaming people in the stands and the players running by him in the field, he pulls the glove off his tiny fingers and tosses it into the clover.
Smiling, he stoops over and picks up a dandelion.
He lifts the bud of sunshine to his nose, and his grin spreads to his ears.
The ball whizzes by him. It lands a few feet past him. Fact is he doesn’t even see it.
His coach yells his name. We call out to him. He doesn’t hear us.
He is intent and content gathering as many dandelions as he can pack into the hollow of the mitt he’d strewn on the ground.
The coach gives up and focuses on the other t-ball players.
We watch him in sheer amazement.
Once in a while the noise of the airplanes flying overhead breaks his concentration and he stops long enough to watch the white streaks rip across a patch of blue sky. Occasionally he replaces his smile with a determined clench as he continues plucking the sunny beauties from the earth.
The inning ends, and he’s sitting in the grass still fingering the small yellow blooms. His coach yells to him, and finally goes out to get him.
In all his boyish splendor, he runs to me with flowers in his hand and a smile on his face. “These are for you, Mommy.” I pull him into my arms and hug him tightly.
He runs off for a snack. I sit in the stands with flowers in my hand and a smile on my face.
****I don’t recall whether they won or lost the game. I only remember the joy on the face of my child, joy that spilled from his heart to his face and into mine. I witnessed my child digging for something extraordinary in an ordinary moment, and then shared the joy of his finding it.