Monday, July 31, 2017

Life Is Hard

Ice cream cones are messy when you're four.
Yesterday my husband and I spent the afternoon with friends visiting from North Carolina. A young couple and their four-year-old son, they had come to Maine for a family reunion and made some time to see us. We lunched at a lobster shack, visited a lighthouse, looked for shells on a beach and ended the day licking ice cream cones. All the while I was distracted by the child, delighted by his beauty and innocence and surprised by his incredible depth and perception. (This is a child who said to his mother a few weeks ago, "If I say the word why one more time I'm going to freak myself out!")

He reminded me of my own son at that age. He too was beautiful and smart, prone to wry observations and memorable quotes about life. He insisted on growing up and is now on the brink of his thirtieth birthday, and while he has turned into a fabulous adult, wise and interesting and funny, still I miss his four-year-old version every day.

This morning I read about the son of Nashville's mayor, Megan Barry, who died of a drug overdose this past weekend at age twenty-two. Like my son, he was an only child. News stories show pictures of him with his mother when he was a happy little boy, both of them smiling broadly. And now this.

It's all so precarious. Yes, like the t-shirts say, life is good. But not always.



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