the back concrete step (part two)


Here is the photo I was looking to post with “The Back Concrete Step.” It was taken in 1979. I’ve been looking for this picture for a few days, the whole time thinking about the adventure that awaited each time we boinged off of the black rubber mat. 

Then my thoughts wrap around to the way the concrete step was sturdy. In and out of the house we went. Inside for comfort and encouragement and then — boing — outside into adventure. The line I wrote — It was an old concrete step, but I don’t remember thinking of it as old — has been haunting me.

My parents had their eyes set on the things that mattered — encouraging Jeff and me to be our best selves while they were being their own best selves. Everything else was secondary. I see it clearly in my memories. Their priority was a healthy, happy and safe family life.

One of the things I’ve been cultivating during these weeks of stay-at-home has been gratitude for my present home. It is easy to look around and wish for things to be different, to want for new. I’ve been finding ease with the stack of graphic novels that Jordan is reading piled on the edge of the stairs, the hand chalked ladders on the front sidewalk for his workout routines, and his sweatshirt tossed over the back of his kitchen chair. I’ve been relaxed about the nest Hannah gathers next to the recliner — a cross stitch project and a current book, a forgotten ice cream bowl and a pile of blankets. I’ve accepted that our dining room is the train room for Sam and the Legos in the corner behind the couch is a charming spot for creation. 

I’ve started tackling the mess of flower beds outside and appreciating the space our old deck and simple fire pit afford for late night conversations and belly laughs. I’m learning to be grateful for the carpet that is so old that it doesn’t matter if there is a spill.

I’m reminding myself that secure and confident children rise up from safe and encouraging homes…and a place to boing into adventure.

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  1. I just read your other post, love that you found that picture! Yes, relaxing into the things that are important is a good way to live life. It’s nice to hear about the kids’ spaces!

  2. That’s an adorable picture! Your house sounds like mine, and I too am learning to have peace with it. I love your stories. Hope you keep sharing.

  3. “Boing into adventure” is my favorite line. I like how each child gets his/her own space outside their bedrooms–sharing the love of what brings them comfort. Ruth, you give them comfort!