Nearly as much as I enjoy being Harrison's uncle do I enjoy watching my sister be his mom. She sent me a text message earlier tonight that made me so happy and proud that I couldn't help but copy it down to share here.
I just took Harrison's jacket out of his bag to wash it and I found a piece of bark from the playground in his pocket and it made me smile so big. I'm sure it's the first surprise of many that I'll find in his pockets and I know it's so ridiculous but it made me really happy for some reason.
I thought about that message for a while and about that little piece of bark that my nephew saved in the pocket of his jacket and how it might have come to be there and I decided that being really happy about it isn't ridiculous at all. It's kind of a magical, actually. Today my fourteen-month-old nephew was outside on the playground at daycare and for a moment he stopped digging or laughing or playing with a ball and he squatted down, reached out his hand and picked up a little piece of bark amongst the leaves and the rocks and the sticks. I can imagine him holding that little piece of bark in the palm of his hand and stroking it with the tips of his fingers before bringing it close to his face to examine with his gorgeous blue eyes and ultimately discovering, for the first time in his life, nature. And then, for whatever reason, he saw something in that little piece of bark that was special to him, so he reached into his pocket and saved it there.
There's a pretty good chance that Harrison will never remember that little piece of bark, or that playground, or even attending daycare at all, but my sister will. And someday when Harrison's no longer a baby, she'll tell him about that little piece of bark that she found in the pocket of his jacket and how it made her so inexplicably happy that she was just bursting to tell someone about it. And then I'll smile and tell my not-so-little-anymore nephew how lucky I felt to be the someone she told.