A few weekends ago, during an escape to the mountains, we scored with a place to stay right on the river. Every so often, there was a hammock tucked in between two trees; sometimes right along the water’s edge and sometimes hanging out over the water a bit. And from these hammocks, you could just sway for a while in the warm sun or cool shade, or maybe just watch a fly fisherman or two study the dark ripples around rocks and trees and cast that lazy line back and forth before it landed like a sigh on the water’s surface.

It was in one of those hammocks that Ewan and I lazed away about an hour or so. He was having a hard time settling down for a nap, so we sneaked out quietly and, after not so gracefully getting into one, we gulped up one of those long captures of time together that you hope burns itself into your memory banks as one of the greatest memories of childhood.

I laid back, he sat on my belly, and we sang lots of songs. Fun ones with clapping and laughing, and silly ones with tugs on ears and noses. I wished for my camera so that I could see forever the complete happiness on his animated face, but the moment was worth so, so much more than the interruption.

And our fun and silly songs turned to quiet lullabies there under the aspens and evergreens. He laid down on my chest and hummed along for a while, then became very still and very quiet. All around us was the sound of leaves rustling and water spilling along, and I thought…

This is the perfect heartbeat of life, the most complete pulse of love.

It was like growing bigger and smaller all at once – a great big inhale and exhale. And we were more filled up in that moment than ever before.

I’m amazed, crushed really, by the enormity of what is possible when I open myself up to my children, my husband, to those I hold close. And I’m learning every day just how much my children teach me about this very thing. Loving with abandon. I’m using that word a lot lately, “abandon.” It’s more than a sense of freedom, though, which is how I used to look at these little boys. It’s the essence of innocence and freedom and joy and giving yourself up to all of it.

Oh. I like this abandon very, very much. I especially like it…in a hammock.