I was throwing away the evidence of our fast food dinner, getting ready to take the garbage out when he bounded through the back sliding door, a chaotic flailing of limbs, out of breath.
“Neen! You will never believe what I just heard coming home!” Startled, my hands stumbled on the bags; I shook my head, eyes wide.
“Come outside. It’s awesome.”
This week, the temperatures have been lamb-like. We have spent the last few nights on the patio, bringing the outdoor couch out of the garage, ignoring Ralph’s protests, “You know, Janeen. It’s going to snow like five more times…this doesn’t make sense.” We are at the threshold of seasonal change, a palpable yearning.
“I was biking home after Brandon’s and it was deafening. They are so loud!”
I stand in quiet disbelief; registering, recalibrating my understanding of this situation. This 14 year old who only talks about mountain biking, Tik-tokers who play with tractors, and running, is bringing in this innocent, home-grown, uninfluenced-by-his-friends excitement. He is talking, instead of at me, directly to me.
“Come on, let’s go out back!”
I follow him through the lawn, crossing over the line that marks the field’s beginning. I note the moon at half strength still providing enough light to guide us.
“I was just riding with Brandon and we were near his house and that’s when I heard them! I like stopped and Brandon was like ‘yo. what are you doing?’ and I just shouted at him ‘PEEPERS!’ He totally didn’t understand, but I couldn’t wait to come home and tell you. Oh my gosh, I bet you can hear them so well at Gram’s.”
He just kept going. His words falling from him like they did when he was four. Our evening hikes down to the pond just memories; accessed only to add nostalgic pangs inherent with coming-of-age.
We rounded the mulch pile, and there it is was. We stopped and just looked at each other. Our cheeks pushed upward by our smiles. He whispered, “isn’t this just the best.” For a moment, I didn’t hear anything but my heart registering a knowing significance; this moment’s file being labeled for future recollections. “Yes. Yes, this is the best.”