A little over a year ago, we had our lawn dug up and new sod installed.  The work was completed right before a six-week period of pitifully little rainfall that led to my having to sprinkler the lawn for a couple of hours each night to keep the grass alive long enough to take root.  I was conflicted between guilt for the excessive water use and agony at seeing an expensive investment literally wither before my eyes.

One night, I was too exhausted to stay up to shut off the water, so I turned it off and put the sprinkler on first thing the next morning before the heat of the day would evaporate the water.

As I got ready for work, I noticed that the kids were not underfoot.  This was odd then, but is an even odder occurrence now.  Their sibling rivalry is of a variety that usually starts out well, with the boys playing nicely but boisterously.  It is not long, however, before one of them accidentally gets hurt, believes it to have been intentional, retaliates, and the next thing I know, they’re screaming at each other.

But that morning it was dead quiet, and had been for at least 20 minutes.  Concerned, I went to see what they were up to and found them both in my oldest’s bedroom.

The sprinkler was positioned in the front lawn outside the bedroom window, and the boys would catch a glimpse of the sprinkler as it rose in the air, before it disappeared.  The boys found it so mesmerizing that they had sat at the window for 20 minutes watching the water appear and disappear, all the while quietly whispering to each other about… something impenetrable by adults, I’m sure.

I was touched and snapped a photograph of the moment:

boys at the window

Photo Credit: (c) J. Matthew Lake

Today, I am thankful for the moments of silence that sometimes descend upon our house when the boys are wrapped in one of the many magical moments of childhood, when their imaginations allow something as simple as a sprinkler to become filled with mystery.