Matchstick Jeans

Jack usually picks up a stick on his walk.

It started on the first or second walk and now he does it most of the time.  He finds a stick and carries it in his mouth all the way home.  Sometimes it’s a little twig, other times it’s big and covered in growth or dirt.  We recently had a lot of rain, so he thinks some of the exposed roots are sticks, but eventually gives up.  I’ve even seen him trade up a couple of times and change sticks mid-walk.

The first time he did it, it was such a surprise.  A lovely, sunrising, just the two of us, surprise.  I saw it as a glimpse into his burgeoning personality, something unique and special.

Jack brings home sticks.

This morning we were on the walk, he went for a stick and I said, “Oh, that one?  I’m sure we can find a better stick.  What about…”  I caught myself and I stopped.  Jack has taught me all sorts of things about myself, but this morning was a doozy.

He grabs the stick on his walk.  It’s his thing.

Why did I have to, all of a sudden, inject my opinion, make it my thing too?  I’m not picking out the stick and yet this morning I started to control it, orchestrate the type of stick I’d like to see Jack trotting up the driveway with.  If I hadn’t stopped myself, there would be rules, guidelines, for stick selection.

One that’s the right size, that he looks good carrying, a suitable homogenized stick and a process that would eventually beat it down into no fun at all.  Jack would eventually stop bringing home sticks all together.  Too much hassle.

I do this with people too, get involved, when I don’t need to, have no business being.  It’s a strange need spurred by something unexpected, a glimpse into what could be, rather than just watching what is.  My mind, or even my mouth says, “Yes, that’s great, wonderful, but what if it went like this?”  So stupid.

Sometimes when we insert ourselves into things others are doing perfectly well on their own,  we step on their magic.  I’m aware, I try not to do this anymore.  Jack’s eyes reminded me this morning.

I’m pretty sure he’s training me, rather than the other way around.

By the way, he ended up picking this large curvy stick.  It looked like an antler and he looked like that cutie dog in The Grinch.  I laughed.  That’s a gift too.

My thoughts from the laundry room.  Early Alarm.

9 thoughts on “Matchstick Jeans

  1. Wonderful post, Tracy. The sentiment was something I needed to hear. I think it is so easy to “help improve” that I often forget that the help isn’t needed or wanted. If everyone could learn this, what a more peaceful world we might have (but it is not up to me to help make that change…just my own self needs to change). ~nan

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