on blind presence
There were hundreds of parents and kids on the field. Walking among them I was engrossed in a game of I Spy in order to connect with my son before his first race.
I stopped to survey the t-shirt color groupings, looking for red. A boy of about twelve approached me looking frantic.
He asked, “Have you seen my blind grandmother?”
I stared at him. His eyes were striking. The kind that make you look twice or just a second longer than normal. I paused because the question sounded like a joke but his franticness was real. I tried to determine if he needed help or whether he was concerned about his grandmother, maybe distraught that she may not ‘see’ him when it was time to run.
Me: Can she see at all?
Sparkly Eyed Boy: A little.
Me: Did she come with anyone? What is she wearing?
Sparkly Eyed Boy: No. A white shirt.
I looked up at the crowd and suppressed a laugh. He interrupted to tell me he saw her as he ran in her direction, clearly relieved. I turned and there she was, ambling through the crowd with a big black seeing eye dog.
What am I grateful for?
I am grateful for the blessings that have allowed me to have presence in my children’s lives.
I did not have the experience of an adult’s presence to support me in the school activities I participated in when younger. I felt a sense of loss when finishing a race, spelling bee, mock trial case or participating in an honor roll assembly and having no one to run to, hug or lock eyes with to feel their smile at my accomplishments.
Sparkly Eyed Boy was me and all children yearning for their parent’s presence. Frantic beings we do become without them.
I did finally spy my son, next to the track, looking frantically around, for me.