We took Clark to the park today. The playground equipment had all the usual trappings of a large park in the center of town, including scores of parents, kids, and pooches out for their afternoon walk.
Amid the chaos, we discovered the slides fairly quickly. Clark and Gwyn spent most of the time going up, and down the slide head first. No worry given to broken necks, or petrified father watching from the side. Only the occasional mischievous glance, and the squeal of joy at landing in the wood chips beneath the slide.
It’s a remarkable thing to see a child at play. Engrossed in the moment. Utterly fascinated by whatever it is that captures the attention, and imagination of a young mind.
But what I envy most is Clark’s ability just to be. To enjoy. To play. Some nights when my mind races with things to do, with the things that I didn’t get done, with the typical cares of life that keep one awake late into the night, I wish I had his young heart, and innocence – things forever etched on the face of a child at play.
I suppose that’s something I can’t get back. And yet, I can’t help but pray it’s something he never loses.