Recently at the playground, an older boy grabbed the ball from my son’s hands and threw it over the wall.
The moment it happened, I felt a slight tension around my solar plexus and a memory from the schoolyard in my youth flashed across my mind. Thoughts began to swirl around where the kid’s parents were and what I should do or say.
Lucky to have noticed the feeling first, I was able to doubt the quality of my thinking enough to just watch and wait instead of act. On the inside I watched my unfolding experience of feeling and thinking and on the outside I watched how my boy would respond.
As he stood there in curious amazement, I realized nobody had ever taken something from him and thrown it away before. He didn’t have any meaning around it as good or bad. He just stood in wonder at how the ball had gone from being there to suddenly not being there. It also appeared he was amazed at how that older boy had gotten it to go over the wall.
As I watched the unfolding of my own thoughts and feelings, they faded and eventually vanished like the ball had.
I wandered over to my son and encouraged what he seemed to be experiencing.
“Where did the ball go buddy? That was funny wasn’t it!? Let’s go find it!”
And off we went on an adventure.