a walk

[Photos taken by the drone.]

If you were to ask me to define this season of life, I would say it is one of overwhelming stress. With each passing week, I look back and see the way the stress has mounted.

Stress is a strange thing because the more I live with it, the less I realize the weight of it. It is what it is has been a mantra for parenting for so many years, that sometimes I forget just because it is what it is doesn’t mean that it isn’t weighty.

The stress has piled so high that I’m beginning to feel suffocated by it. Yesterday Sam and I took his drone for a walk. Who knew it would be the catalyst for me to let go of some of the weight of things?

One of the things I admire the most about Sam is the way he constantly looks for fun. No matter what, his default is to have fun. He is enthusiastic and lighthearted. He finds ways to laugh. And he is really good at living in the moment.

Yesterday, Sam spent time with me and there were no strings attached. He didn’t want me to do something for him, he wasn’t clamoring to get something; he was content to be together.

By the end of the night, I was the more relaxed than I’d been in months. Sam’s joy and enthusiasm was good for my soul. His jokes and laughter made my heart light.

“You know one of my favorite things about you, Sam?” I asked him.

“My good looks?” He winked at me.

“Well, that, and I feel like it’s okay just to be me around you. You don’t try to get me to do something different than I want to do. You let me be me.”

“It’s easy to let people be themselves,” he said. “They usually laugh more that way.”

Sam has always had an uncanny ability to make people feel loved. It is remarkable to see him hang on to this quality as he becomes a young adult.

Let's Be Email Pals!

Teaching writers doesn't have to drown us.

Enter your information to receive my free eBook, plus weekly tips and encouragement for teaching writers.

Don't worry, I won't send you spam, and you can unsubscribe any time. (I'd hate to see you go, though.) Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Special people + special moments = special memories. I have always believed in this life equation. I think your Sam story is a perfect example. What a great kid!

  2. Oh, I love that young man. I’m putting his quote into my notebook. “It’s easy to let people be themselves,” he said. “They usually laugh more that way.”

  3. “It’s easy to let people be themselves,” he said. “They usually laugh more that way.” – That brought tears to my eyes. So glad you have Sam to remind you to let go of the stress. And Ruth – please know that your honest writing has helped so many of us handle our own stress. I am writing again. Writing every week and that’s because of YOU! Thank you!

  4. “It’s easy to let people be themselves,” he said. “They usually laugh more that way.” Sam’s words brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad you have Sam to help relieve some stress. Please know that YOU have helped so many people with your honest writing. YOU were the one whose warm invitation got me to write every week without fail. A little miracle. Thank you!

  5. I am glad you were able to relax. Sam is such a wise young man. He understands people way better than many adults.

  6. I LOVE the photos, Ruth, and your red boots, and this fantabulous sharing, and time with Sam, and the love, and laughter … and the hope it gives me, and the reminder of how important it is to love, and laugh, and even in stressful times find lightness. Thank you! 😀

  7. Sam is a stress reliever, he does bring the fun. You made me laugh when you wrote “taking his drone for a walk.” Not sure how many people take their drones for a walk. 🙂

  8. Wow, what an incredible kid! I love his quote about letting people be themselves! <3 You have always had a gift for showing the beauty of simple moments, even in the midst of the stress, Ruth!

  9. “Just because it is what it is doesn’t mean that it isn’t weighty.” — YES! I am happy to hear you found some comfort in your quality time with Sam. I also love those boots 🙂

  10. Those red boots remind me of your yellow shoes post! So glad that you and Sam were able to get out and take the drone for a walk. And that you were able to just be in the moment. He’s a remarkable young man!