This morning I'm on a five mile walk. I live on a street that has sidewalks but doesn't get much foot traffic. In fact, there is only one set of tracks besides mine. So as I'm walking and listening to music I find that I'm following this man's footsteps and wondering about him. I wonder where he came from and where he is going. I can tell that his shoe is neither a boot nor a good walking shoe; it has a broad, flat bottom without much tread, I can also tell by how perfect the prints are that he was not in a hurry to get anywhere fast. I can tell he was out early as snow has drifted over the footprints. I look at my print next to his and decide that he's big, definitely a man.
Only he's not. He is well on his way though; he is big; definitely over 6 feet, I would say probably closer to 6'2" if he isn't there already. He is gentle and typically kind and sometimes incredibly awkward. He gives the worst, most awkward hugs with the best intention that you've ever seen. He is quiet around his peers but if you are one of the adults or kids he feels comfortable with; he will have you rolling in the aisles with just a dead-on, whip-smart sense of humor. He had a haircut a couple of weeks ago and I was just noticing yesterday that he looks very handsome these days. One day soon some girl is going to grab him, plant one on him and he's going to go off a teenage cliff that I've been preparing for and hiding from for 15 years, 6 months, 2 weeks and 1 day.
He is my son. I finally figured out from the path I was taking that they were Aidan's foot prints heading to school this morning. We have a deal; he likes pop, I don't like that he likes pop. If he wants to drink it then he gets to walk 3 miles round trip, five days a week. So I was walking down the street thinking about this man and his life and where he came from and where he was going and it turns out that he is one of the three people on the planet for whom I constantly have these exact same thoughts running through my brain at nearly any moment in the day. Today, I walked in Aidan's foot steps for a good long time thinking about how far he has come and how much further he has to go.
On may way home I went the long way so that I could get some extra mileage in. I came across these footsteps. By this time, I had already realized that the foot prints I was so curious about earlier belonged to my son so it didn't take me long to realize that these foot prints belong to my daughters; they are from their trip to the bus stop. A one block trip that they make alone, twice a day five days a week. They're very different prints from his. These two kids, they are running and their prints; they do not stay on the sidewalk they are everywhere at once, on top of one another, colliding, crossing over the other's. Their foot prints are entirely indicative of their personalities in sharp contrast with Aidan's. Aidan's are right down the middle, slow and steady, no deviation from his intended path. The girls? They have AD/HD foot prints. I decided to walk in their foot steps too. As a parent you spend a lot of time focusing on where your kids have been and where your kids are going. Today was nice, I got to literally see where they've been and imagine all the wonderful places they are going; each at their own pace. Today it is good to be a mom.