I could tell he was having a lot of fun. His little feet ran around, chasing the water squirting up from the ground. I watched from the side under the shade of the tree. My little nephew pulled my mom by the hand to the next mini fountain at the park earlier today.
I looked at my dad and said, “Can we go? Let’s take off my shoes and braces.”
Most of the time I’m more than okay with watching. I’ve always loved observing from the sidelines, even in childhood as brothers or friends did activities I couldn’t do.
But this morning I saw an opportunity for an adventure. I felt the urge to get out and join the fun. The chance was there – my dad was right beside me.
We thought for a minute and then we got ready. The nephew returned and I told him, “I’m going to come too.”
He only looked at me for a second before he patted the arm rest and said, “Come! Come, Laura. Come.”
I could tell from his face that he thought I would drive my wheelchair into the water area, but I could also see his excitement of “everybody” getting wet.
I didn’t have a bathing suit on or a change of clothes. That didn’t matter. My toes were free, my legs were cooler without the confinement of the braces and long socks. It was good to jump out and do something different on a hot summer day.
We splashed and stepped where the water rose.
I thought about how I didn’t really want to put my braces or shoes back on, but I would have to stand up on my own soon enough.
The freedom of my bare feet on the ground reminded me of another simple dream I have — to feel blades of grass between my toes. I’ve stood on pavement, sand, and put my foot in the wet cement on our driveway. I don’t remember a specific day where I stood in the grass. Maybe I did somewhere sometime.
I want to do it (again?) and enjoy the moment a little longer than normal. Because that is how everyday kind of adventures turn into memories. And that is how simple moments of joy turn into stories we tell.