What would I say to a littler me? What would I say to a young boy with eyes as wide as the skies? What would I tell him about the world that lay in front of him, edging him on? How could I admire him, inspire him, praise him, thank him for bringing such life into my life?
This young boy, with such an eager and inquisitive nature had so much potential. He had desires, passions, questions, and yes, he had many wondrous ways that were unique to him. He laughed a lot, cried a little, frowned and smiled, shrugged his shoulders and raised his gaze towards a future that belonged to no one but him. He asked about things he didn’t understand, reached for things that he wanted to hold, jumped up onto the next step, traversed an obstacle or two, and dashed towards the finish line as quick as a cricket. He learned from his mother, was taught by his father, inspired by his brothers and sisters, admired his aunts and uncles, wrote on the chalk board, sat on a bus, stood in line, kneeled and prayed, helped his little brother up and ran after his older sisters. He idolized his older brother with a furied frenzy. He wished he could play baseball like Carl Yastrzemski, basketball like Willis Reed, ski like Jean – Claude Killy and have a come from behind kick like Dave Wottle. He dreamt of a roaring crowd, a monster that was catching up, an endless field to run through, a wild toboggan ride, pitching a no hitter, floating to earth and jumping to the moon.
What could I say to this inquisitive young lad with a sparkle in his eye? Would I be able to explain where he is headed? Would I be able to show him all of the miles ahead of him? Could I teach him something he wouldn’t learn on his own? Should I warn him of the hurdles, the obstacles, the fears, the worries that would spin around in his mind? Should I guide him to the left, or veer him to the right?
This young boy was the biggest part of me. He stared at a line of stepping stones, just waiting for a chance. He was all of my questions, all of my wonders, all of my joy and all of my hope. He was all of the things that would lead me to here, and although he didn’t know it, he was the creator of a life full of lasting memories.
What do you tell a boy like this, like me? What could I learn from him today? What questions would I ask this little man?
So often I have thought back and pictured him in my mind. I wonder how he came to be in a slice of life that defined him. I rack my mind some times, trying to remember all that I can about him. The Red Ball Jets, the Super Balls, the Hot Wheels, the cards in the spokes, knee patched jeans, the nights staring out the bedroom window, the Christmas Eves, the cuts, scrapes and bruises, the smiles on his face and the tears in his eyes. I search for hidden gems of his existence, but I usually fall back upon those same memories that have kept me company through my years.
Amazed and enlightened, I keep moving forward, as did he. With each step, I remember a young boy on a sting ray bike, pedaling up a hill and down the road of life. The momentum of this energetic little fellow found a way through a world that challenged him, taught him, amazed and bestowed upon him a talent known only to him.
What would he say to me today? If he could look ahead into his life, what would he think? Would he be happy with where I am? Would he be thankful that he wound up here with me? Could he begin to understand all of the choices he made? That I made? That we made? Would he be as proud of me as I am of him?
This young boy, this young man is all that I am made of. I wouldn’t be, couldn’t be me without the gifts that he possessed. I owe him everything that I am, and as I move on, I can only emulate the heart and soul of this young, courageous savior of my soul, for it is a powerful soul indeed.
What would I say to a littler me?
I would kneel down, clutch his shoulders, look into his eyes, and while trying to fight back a surge of emotions I would only be able to say one thing.