He ran around the creek with reckless abandon.
She watched his bare little feet kick up the water darkening the denim that she had rolled up to his knees. Frogs hopped all around him making tiny splashes of their own. She worried he would fall down as his head darted back and forth trying to take them all in. He had no worries at all.
She had shown him how he could use the net to catch them. Despite the lesson, he was holding it with both hands waving it in the air like a flag and squealing along the way.
She knew he didn’t want to catch them anyway. He was just enjoying the moment.
Jealousy gripped her chest with each splashy footfall.
It was his laughter that she envied the most. Real, from the gut, tears in your eyes laughter. It was so powerful that he would throw his head back and the sun would wash over his tiny features bathing him in an angelic glow.
She felt the corners of her mouth turn down before she felt the tears mark their path down her cheeks. More powerful than the jealousy was the overwhelming feeling of sadness that had slowly crept over her.
Years from now life would wash away this moment from his memory. He would forget what it meant to truly laugh with abandon. He would forget that running around the creek was more fun than actually catching the frogs.
That was when she sat back and allowed herself to take it all in. The way the sun caused the water to sparkle at its peaks, the sound of the running creek interrupted by the rhythmic splashing and laughter, the look of absolute joy on his face.
She finally allowed herself to live in the moment because she now understood that it was her job to never let him forget.