I watch him from the couch, fiddling with the scooter, attempting to maintain his balance using his walker while wanting so much to ride the scooter his brother received under the Christmas tree just yesterday. Every so often, he loses his balance and the scooter crashes into the floor. He looks up, nods his head at me, giggles, and leans down to try again. It's a ten minute ordeal for him to work his way through the palsy, to make his body do the things he wants it to do. I get up off the couch to help him and he sees me. The scooter drops to the floor again and he waves me away. I sit back down and he works for the better part of a half hour to turn the bike upright and place one foot on the platform. Here, however, he is stuck, unsure of what to do next.
I am finally allowed off of the couch and I place his other foot on the platform and hold his hands over the handles. Together, we wander through the house, his squeals of laughter causing Craig to chuckle. As we turn the corner of the kitchen island, the most absurd thought enters into my head: I wish I believed. I wish I bought into some sort of system of belief that supported reincarnation because this laughing ten-year-old on the scooter deserves some grace should there be a next time around, to be able to move his body as a dancer does.
But I don't believe in a next time around and unfairness of the situation is almost overwhelming until he lets out another squeal and I find myself brought back into the moment. And in this moment, he is flying on his scooter and neither he nor I need any more grace. This is enough.