"Want me to play for you?"
I've watched this one grow from boy to man, a day's change imperceptable, but the years impossible to miss. His brown eyes dance and his smile curls with ease and I'm never quite sure when he's sneaking something past. This one is a charmer.
He's a natural at so many things – sports…music – and he's rare in just as many ways: unashamed to ask me to pray for the people he cares about, gratitude on his lips in response to the most simple of gestures, concern about disappointing the adults in his life, regard for authority. And he takes as long as a girl to get ready to go out.
He was the first friend to ask my son to come over when we moved here almost ten years ago. I remember asking the elementary principal about their family because I didn't know anything about anyone here.
I was grasping for the kind of knowing that comes from living in the same place for long enough to grow a life. We had only been here weeks and that was futile, little more than a mother's wish.
So, he's here last night, and I'm aware time with him – and The Others Like Him – have numbers ticking the days left. College…moving…moving on.
It's been a time, a season, a good one, a rich one.
The kids in my children's lives have been Community to me in a way I never expected. They love me, they tell me things, they listen.
I love them, I tell them things, they listen.
The older ones come back sometimes, too, even when my children aren't here.
So he asks me if I want to hear him play, and I'm genuinely touched that he'd ask. That he's brave enough for an audience of one. That he wants me to listen.
And I'll be damned if it's not John Mayer. It had to be John Mayer.…
See once in a while when it's good
It'll feel like it should
And they're all still around
And you're still safe and sound
And you don't miss a thing
'til you cry when you're driving away in the dark.
Singing stop this train I want to get off and go home again
I can't take this speed it's moving in….
It was beautiful. It was a paycheck to a mom.
He has no idea my heart exploded.