Who we used to be. Before we were ‘we.’

Every now and then we experience these wondrous moments where we are able to stop, let go, and recognize the people we once were, not so long ago—or maybe a long time ago—before we had so many responsibilities. Before children. Before stress and anxiety, technology, and the fast-pace of our lives threatened to consume us all.

This afternoon I enjoyed one such moment. Liam offered to walk the kids to the park down the road so I could finish the mammoth task of folding and putting away about ten load’s worth of laundry. Once I finished, we planned on me meeting everyone at the park so that we could all grab a quick bite for dinner. 

When I got to the park, I set about wrangling the two littlest so I could change diapers before getting back in the car. When I looked up after changing the baby to see where everyone had gone, I noticed Liam had found a basketball and was shooting hoops at the court across the playground. I could hear him trying to cajole the girls into being his rebounders. 

A slow but strong smile spread across my face. I laughed out loud not only at the cuteness of them all, but because I knew I was going to go over there and attempt to steal the ball from someone so I could get in on the action too.

After I got closer and put down the baby, I did just that, much to the chagrin of Nora, who was not impressed, but rather downright offended I would think to do such a thing to her. Sucka!

There’s nothing quite like the feel of a basketball rolling off your fingertips on its way to the hoop, especially when you can feel it’s going to go in before it actually does.

My first thought after I shot the ball was: Man. Remember when I used to be fun? To have fun? 

And just like that, Liam and I were transported back in time. Taking jump shots (and bricking them hard). Making lay ups. Passing and laughing like we were kids in high school. All while the kids yelled around us, “Give it to me! Pass it to me! Mommy! Daddy! Come on!”

Basketball is an experience Liam and I both share. Only, I didn’t know him in high school. Never got to see him play. So, in this brief moment, I was able to watch him as a fun-loving thirty-six-year-old, and imagine his “other life,” the one in which he existed before me. It was like a small glimpse into his past. And maybe even our future. One in which we coach the kids and try to impart any meaningful advice we can still remember from those days gone by.
Isn’t it just SO COOL when these kinds of moments stop us in our tracks? Make us think back about how we used to be? Make us imagine what others might have been like? And make us look ahead at all that we have to look forward to with our own children?

I sure think so.  

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