My mischievous three-year-old son dressed in his holiday best, his back to me, but his beautiful face turned in my direction. His body lurching forward, but his eyes fixed on me.
Every time I recall the scene, it plays out in my mind in slow motion with me mouthing “NOOOOOOOOO.”
His infectious smile radiated; his face a combination of angelic and devilish.
In a split second, while still in a forwarding and thrusting motion, he turned his tiny face away from me and jumped full force into a muddy puddle of water.
I watched in disbelief as the blotches of mud spattered his fancy and pricey B. Altman outfit. As I horrifyingly ran toward him, he turned around and faced me full on. He was beaming, otherworldly, his demeanor was one of pure delight.
He pushed a baby curl of hair off his face with his dirty hand, leaving a dark streak across his forehead.
I stopped dead in my mommy tracks, astonished at the flood of joy, and love and hope that crashed and passed through me.
I had been one person before my son, and now I was someone else. Someone I never knew was hiding deep inside of me.
While he delighted in his mud bath, I thanked the dear Lord for this do-over.
As he gazed into my face, which I assumed at that moment must have appeared less than pleased, I broke into first a smile, and then a full on laugh.
He giggled playfully back in response as he lunged at me with wide open arms.
I grabbed him up and tenderly ensconced myself with all of him, twirling and whirling, tears of wonder streaking my meticulously painted face.
The two of us lost in a brief moment of time.
My son and I, a muddy loving mess.