Looking out the window

One day last week I was puttering in the kitchen and it occurred to me I hadn’t seen Whit in a while.  “Whit?” I hollered up the staircase.  Our house is very up-and-down and we have a terrible habit, all of us, of shouting up and down the stairs.

“Yes?” I heard him answer from upstairs.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m just looking out the window.”

Oh.  I stood in the kitchen, a potholder in my hand, stunned, still, thinking about that.

Later that afternoon I was folding laundry on our bed while Whit sat in the upholstered chair in our bay window talking to me.  The late-afternoon sun streamed in, viscous, gold, like maple syrup.  I shook out pajama bottoms and folded them, smoothed little boy underpants printed with robots and sailboats with my hand, piling them neatly.

“Mummy?” Whit said from his perch, and I turned to see that he was gazing out the window.


“Admire the light of this hour.”

I gaped and looked at him, at the back of his head which glowed, burnished blond, in the late-afternoon autumn light.  I had just recently reminded my children about looking at the light of every hour, about the power of really noticing things.  Still, I hadn’t realized how fully he had internalized this.  I dwell so often on the myriad ways Grace is, often uncomfortably, like me but for some reason reminders that Whit too has a seam of sensitivity and awareness running through him tend to take me aback.  I find it particularly moving that my Lego-worshiping, lightsaber-wielding six year old son can also spend long minutes looking out the window.  I’m not sure why this surprises me: I guess that Whit, like his mother and many people I love, contains multitudes.

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  1. Posted November 7, 2011 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    What a beautiful reminder to never ever put children, or people at all, in boxes. We should all, as you are doing, help our children embrace their wholeness, not force them to grow stunted, only aware of one side of their natures.

  2. Posted November 7, 2011 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    He’s an observer, that Whit.

  3. Posted November 7, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    This is just gorgeous. And I love that he and Grace are soaking in what you’re telling them – to notice and admire and be here now.

  4. Posted November 7, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I got a rush of goosebumps as I read his words. I think that he and Henry would be two peas in the StarWarsLightSaberLegoWrestlingBoy Let’sLookOutTheWindowTogether pod.

    Adore him. xo

  5. Posted November 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink


    I believe we all have this capacity, but it needs to be encouraged. And you do that beautifully. What you sometimes seem to see as a liability, Lindsey, I see as a gift to us all.

    Thank you.


  6. Posted November 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    So lovely, so profound for a six-year-old. He does you proud, Mama.

  7. Posted November 8, 2011 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    Beautiful post, Lindsey. Just beautiful.

  8. Posted November 8, 2011 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    The sunset was so beautiful yesterday afternoon that it almost didn’t bother me that it was happening at oh, five o’clock (curse you, daylight savings!) Somewhat pinkish and orangey all at once, the sky looked soft and muted. I went out on a limb and called my teenager as I drove home. His bedroom has a wonderful western view, so I told him to go upstairs and look at the sky.
    And you know what – he did. It was nice to arrive home and have the sunset as our first topic of conversation.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Posted November 8, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    You are amazing. And what a cool little boy you have. I just love this post and how much your kids soak in. What a beautiful mother you are!!

  10. Posted November 12, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness. What a wise little man. Such a sweetness to him.

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