As I was lying in bed tonight, lights out, but not yet committed to sleep, I watched thoughts from the day float by: a phone conversation with my sister who was tired, a magazine article I’m writing that has finally turned a corner, a rekindled desire to win an exercise competition I’ve entered with my friends (are you reading this Rob?).
But I realized that of all the things I might think about as I drift off to sleep, what I most want to think about is Jay.
For days now I have been unable to resist picking him up at every opportunity, hugging him and kissing him and putting him down just to do it all again moments later. There’s been something about him recently—he’s funnier, more aware, more in control. He radiates life and light. I am falling in love.
I realized tonight that I have complete conviction that the one thing I most want to do with my life over the next two decades is help Jay grow up (and Wally, too, though I don’t really know him yet so it’s hard to imagine what that will look like).
And then I asked myself why, out of all the ways I could I spend my time is this the way I choose? I considered a few possibilities: a sense of duty; a desire to have a meaningful task to devote myself to; a hope that he’ll mourn me when I die.
But none of those seemed quite right.
Then it hit me. What I most want to help Jay develop is a sense of wonder and love for the life he’s been given. So that he blinks, and looks around, and blinks and looks around, and says over and again, every day that he’s alive, I cannot believe I am here.
He’s not the only person I want that for, though. Raising Jay is the most optimistic thing I have ever done. To want life for Jay is to want life for myself, too. There is, between the two of us, a celebration.