Shea, my 2 and 2/3 year old toddler, plays a new game in the car. As soon as we pull away and set forth on the road, she removes her sneakers and socks with a mischievous smile. Once her feet are free, she looks into the rear view mirror and says, “hold my feet daddy.”
I attempt to react right away in an effort to avoid the occasional loss of temper that toddlers rely on to express their frustration and bottled-up excitement. I reach behind the passenger seat to grab her left foot, all while keeping my attention on the road ahead. She laughs as if it is the funniest experience in the world. She moves her foot around and I do my best to play along.
This script is about 2-weeks old. However, this morning it was a little different in that as I was driving her to school, I was playing one of our songs, “My Girl,” by the Temptations. We sing this tune every night, and it is on the playlist of songs that she has heard since she was in her mother’s womb. On this morning, her smile was a little brighter as the 1965 number one single provided the perfect background for this sunny May day.
It was one of those moments that carves out a piece of your heart. I looked into her eyes and saw true joy. The energy of her love, and my love for her, filled that car. You almost could touch the energy as it vibrated along with the familiar base and melody of the song. I did my best to absorb it, to cherish it, to remember it.
As I reflected this morning on this encounter, I once again feel an abundant amount of gratitude for the gift of Shea, and for the absolute privilege to walk this journey of life with her, and with her mom and my wife, Suzie.
Yes, with Shea and Suzie, I have sunshine on a cloudy day, and when it’s cold outside, I have the month of May. And on this actual May day, when the sun is shining in all its glory, I bask in it all with a smile from ear to ear and a heart that has never been so grateful.