Snapshots of Joy

I introduced Alexander to the concept of jumping, picking him up a few inches and putting him back down a couple times. Then, holding his hands, I say, “Like this!” And I jump. And he reacts: Peals of laughter, endless giggles as I jump over and over again, and he laughs harder and harder, gasping for breath between guffaws. Pure astonishment and glee plastered on his face.

. . .

Tim’s at parent-teacher conferences, so I’m solo parenting for the evening. The oven timer beeps, signaling that my dinner is ready. I ignore it for several minutes until I can peel myself away from Alexander and his pile of toys, reassuring him all the while that I’ll be right back. Dinner’s out of the oven, but Alexander is unhappy about the 15-foot distance between us, so I leave my food to cool for a bit and return to my son. He picks up his current favorite book and marches over to the couch, signalling that he wants up. We sit, snuggling, reading books, him pointing to every “Dog!” (That’s a sheep. Baaaa!), laying his head in my lap, helping me turn the pages, backwards, forwards, several at a time, savoring every page just long enough. My dinner remains on the stove, long-since forgotten. And, oh, my heart. It is positively bursting with joy.