it was the first holiday weekend of the summer. it was unseasonably warm. temperatures hadn’t been this high over memorial weekend since 1995.
she had no spectacular plans for the long weekend, save for some reading, rest and a swim. on saturday, she went to the marina for a few hours to sit in the park with a book on the physics of heaven.
she found room under a large tree with others who were enjoying the day. kids squealed from the cold water as they ran back and forth through the sprinkler in the play area.
she settled back in her lawn chair to finish the book she’d begin 1 1/2 years earlier. the chapter she was engrossed in revealed the laws of quantum physics as they related to the power of words. it explained infinite possibilities with both words and intent. fascinating, weighty stuff.
she could only read one sentence at a time, and often had to re-read it several times to absorb the content. her efforts were complicated by the swarms of box elders bugs flying around her head. they began to land. all around her. in her book. on her head. all over her body and the chair. they didn’t bite, they were just annoying. the one that flew down into her shirt required special extraction.
she commanded her angels to keep the bugs off of her. it helped a little bit, but not entirely. as she swatted the bugs away, a young man came flying over the railing above her. he landed in front of her chair and ran down to the picnic table where his mom and younger sister were sitting.
he appeared to be nine or ten years old, quite a handsome young man. he had a lot of energy. he came toward her opposite the sidewalk and began to climb up the concrete wall and over the railing to the deck above. to her dismay, he began to jump from the railing to the concrete below. it was a good ten foot jump. and really not safe.
she watched him without watching him. who was he putting on the show for? he was not careless. he was good. gymnastics would be a great outlet for him. still, this was not safe. she commanded angels to keep him from jumping. his activity decreased but did not stop.
what was going on with the angels? the bugs didn’t stop landing on her and this kid was still performing his circus act. she looked at him more closely when she thought he wasn’t looking. his face was sweet, innocent. there was something else, too. she couldn’t quite put her finger on it.
he began to jump from the top of the railing again. when he landed hard on the concrete just feet away from her, she could stay silent no more. “honey, i need you to stop jumping from up there. it’s not safe. i don’t want you to get hurt.” once a mom, always a mom.
he looked at her as he caught his breath. that last jump had knocked his stuffing loose. his expression shocked her. instead of being angry, he was relieved, almost happy.
someone had paid attention to him, cared about his wellbeing. he looked at her, saying, “okay,” as he nodded his head. then he got up and ran over to his mom at the picnic table.
well. that was just odd. he didn’t get mad at her for speaking up. he obeyed what she asked. he’d been acting out for attention, any attention.
he felt loved when he was seen. when she asked him to stop so he wouldn’t get hurt, he felt cared for. he mattered to her. his well-being mattered.
and it didn’t matter if this mom wasn’t his. she just cared. and she told him.
his daring jumps were the only way he knew to get attention, to be seen. he didn’t have to break an arm for her to say something to him, to show him love and care.
people act out in many ways to be seen. desperate for love, yearning for someone to say, “i see you. you matter. i love you.”
any attention is better than no attention. so someone might show love.
(copyright 2017 © jane doe)