Recently Jake suggested that Lily sit in the middle seat between us at the screening of “Harry Potter – Deathly Hallows.” He was worried that the notorious opening of the film would be too scary for her. These are the breadcrumbs of memories that stay with me lately. I see my son sprouting up taller every week. I long for that bread loaf that I held in my arms. As we prepare for his Bar Mitzvah I find myself stopping by the playground close to our house. The pint size squealers are shadows of the kid Jake once was and I realize now that my memory is quite hazy.
I do have flashes of recollections that flicker in my head. They come like a slideshow on a constant loop. I see Jake (6) and Lily (4) with me laying in grass, for our traditional sunset at the corner, down the street. The Olympic Mountains blaze from the day’s last sun. I see our sweet Katie chasing Jake up and down the hill and it is just another typical northwest dusk afternoon that is fading into a long summer night.
Now I see the image of Lily (8), Lisa (-) and Jake (10) in full-throated laugher after Lily kicks back a burp at the dinner table that shakes the windows in the house.
The slideshow in my mind’s eye shifts to Jake (8) starting a snowball and rolling it down the hill in front of our house. “Daddy look we can make a base for a snow man.” Then he stops, scoops up some snow and eats the chucky white ice while it’s still in his hand. Jake gives a big toothy smile – pure joy.
Now present, I am with Jake, just the other day to see another movie this one “Narnia -Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” I snag our tickets. Jake reaches for my hand. His long fingers now nest tightly in mine. It is the hand of a boy in transition. A group of teenagers enter the theater at the same time. I loosen my grip expecting Jake to do the same. Instead, Jake squeezes my hand tighter. I turn and look at his face. He doesn’t even notice the young adults in front of us. He is just boy, going to see a movie, with his Dad. I’m preparing. Jake is still enjoying being a kid, the wonderful kid he is right now.