They come to me often...quietly and unexpectedly. Sometimes they surprise me to the point that I have no recollection of what made me think of that in the first place.  I just sit and relish in them...mostly smile and other times cry depending on what comes to mind.

One came to me today, and I want to give it back to Jake.  Because he was too young to remember, because my own mind may erase it if I don't write it down, and because, after all, that's what this whole blog thing is for anyway - to be my scrapbook - to write down what I never wish to forget and to be a place where my boys can discover exactly what they were like and see photos of themselves at this age or that age...and to feel my love for them in and through it all.

Jim had to travel to Atlanta for a conference, and like any other time that it was feasible, we traveled as a company of three.  It was some time in April of 2008.  He was just shy of fourteen months - not yet walking and not much taller than my kneecap.  We took him to the original Chick-fil-A and to the Atlanta Zoo.  He wore plaid pants, a button-down shirt, and a white, navy-trimmed vest.  I can see him now peeking in and out of the tiny door at Chick-fil-A that a person not more than thirty inches tall could stand upright in, and I can see him cruising from window to window to watch the panda with her cub.  I can see our family of three sitting on a rock smiling for a stranger to take our photo, and I can see him fast asleep in his car seat before we left the zoo's parking lot.

Our day was one of those unhurried, as-if-all-three-of-us-had-never-eaten-Chick-fil-A-or-been-to-the-zoo kind of days.  It was all in the details - the squeals and the "Look, Daddy!  Here she comes again!" looks on his face, and the one I love most...his wave.  He had recently learned to say "Hey!", and it was his new look-at-what-I-can-do-I'm-so-proud-of-me-repeat-over-and-over-new-word-I've-learned.  And I remember strolling him for hours up and down the hills with his little arm reaching out and waving to every single person who would stare, his little voice saying, "Heeeey!".  It was drawn out - just like that, his hand twisting back and forth.  Oh how he smiled.  And oh how we smiled just watching him.

How sweet it would be to hold that tiny hand that used to fit in mine all over again.

Thank you, Lord, that I can watch it wave...any time I want to.

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