Last night I sat in our darkened living room and watched my husband hold my son as they kept watch at the window. We had turned the lights off, the television was off; all three of us simply sat or stood contentedly, looking out our front window and waiting for the next boom.
About thirty minutes earlier, a thunderstorm had begun to roll in. It was mostly south of us but we could still see flashes of lightning and, a while after, hear the distant rumble of thunder. We took Casey outside and watched his awe filled expression as he heard thunder for the first time. I have been waiting for this moment since last year when we moved back to the Midwest and into the land of thunderstorms. We had some good storms in those first few months back but this year all the bad weather seems to go around us, for which I am both thankful a bit discouraged. There is nothing I love more then a good thunderstorm and I’ve wanted to be able to share one with my son for a long time.
When we heard the first thunderclap, Casey squealed with excited terror. He had a big grin on his face as he looked towards the sky and ran to his dad. “Bup, bup!” he cried, wanting to be picked up. Alex swept him off the ground and into the safety of his strong arms. He pointed to the sky. “That’s thunder. Boom!” “Boom,” Casey repeated.
With each successive roll of thunder, Casey pointed upwards. “Boom,” he cried and traced his finger across the sky, chasing the boom of the thunder as it rumbled its way through the clouds.
Later, we sat in the living room watching for the flash of lightning and then waiting for the boom. When it was clear that we weren’t in for a big storm (most of it had moved through south of us) we went on a drive. I had a craving for a fruit smoothie and we wanted to kill a bit of time until our little night owl became sleepy. Driving through town, we sat on the edge of the weather. To the south of us dark clouds menaced the horizon and to the north a clear blue sky appeared as if unaware of the disturbance. We drove in the convergence of these two landscapes, a band of gray and purple churning against the soft white and yellow, glowing with the setting sun. I glanced behind us as I gave Casey a sip of my smoothie and saw a mass of thick, fluffy clouds, standing against the constant grey of the sky. The falling rays of sunshine illuminated them and it looked like a bright pink castle had arisen out of the darkness.
This past Saturday, we woke up early and went out to a disc golf course that I really like. It’s in the woods but it is mostly flat and we were able to push Casey in the stroller so that I could play. It was a perfect Saturday; one of those days where everything just worked out. Casey was able to take a nap as we walked, he ate snacks picnic style in the woods and when he just couldn’t sit any longer, we were able to let him walk along side of us as we played since the course wasn’t very crowded that early in the day.
These are some of my favorite times- when it is just the three of us and we are able to let go of expectations and simply go with the flow. We aren’t taking pictures or trying to document the moment but we are making the memories and forging the links that family bonds are made of. These are the moments I will remember; my memories so much sweeter and long lasting than any picture I could take. Years from now I will still remember the way Casey delighted in trying to throw the discs like we were, the flash of fear and astonishment in his eyes when he heard the crash of thunder overhead, and the way his tiny finger traced an arc across the sky, chasing the boom.