Sitting on the bleachers, listening as the judge gets ready to announce the placings. Rain beating on the metal roof. Bear next to me on the bench, on the floor, in my lap, kicking at his sister’s shoes and on the floor again. He’s restless.
He just can’t wait to see how his spaghetti sauce placed at the state fair.
Finally, the judge calls Mouse. Blue in Showmanship with her dog, Faithfull. I check my watch and we have an hour and a half before her next event. So with a quick congratulations, we are off to the 4-H exhibits on the far end of the fairgrounds.
Running through the rain, splashing through puddles, pausing at a small river being created by the speed bumps before sloshing through the ankle deep water, Bear exclaims:
“This is the best day ever!”
I look at Micah tucked into his stroller under his sister’s shirt. With raindrops dripping off his eyelashes, he holds the shirt close and smiles at me without looking up. He has watched his siblings play in the rain through the window, but this is the first time he has really been out in it. He is thoroughly soaked and he is thoroughly enjoying it.
It is only a moment, but it is here. Right now.
I have always lived with one foot in tomorrow, thinking more about what I want to do next than what I am doing in this moment. And I’ve missed so many things.
Two years ago, I was at the state fair, pushing a stroller with a little boy just a little younger than Micah. I was pregnant and I was exhausted from walking through every exhibit. Pushing a stroller and pregnant with Micah. But I don’t remember much else. I don’t remember if that little boy was fussy while he watched Mouse compete in the dog show. I don’t remember if he liked the exhibits in the 4-H building or how much of it he slept through.
I just remember standing in the corner of the livestock barn next to a huge Holstein rummaging through her hay. And that little boy sat up straight in his stroller with his eyes opened wide, clearly impressed by this monster. After lengthy consideration, he finally declared, “Puppy!” and almost every four legged animal from then on was a puppy.
I didn’t know that would be his last fair. His last close up look at a cow. His last fall.
I didn’t know and I missed so much.
So now I take a moment to stand in the rain and just be here. Right now. Because I don’t know how many moments we have left.