There was a massive feast of breakfast for dinner at my dad's house tonight. More food than Amanda has ever seen at one sitting, she kept saying. We gorged ourselves; everyone was a member of the Clean Plate Club. It was awesome. Self-induced stuffed pain, but awesome.
Afterward we rolled ourselves out to the lot across the street where Dad has a garage and a bunch of toys. Man toys. The giant yellow travel scooter was pulled out and I got a chance to drive it, rumbling up and down the street, practicing for the big day when I'm brave enough to get a motorcycle license. As I was scooting up and down the quiet Lovell street, I looked over and Amanda and her cousin were each driving riding lawn mowers. They weren't mowing, they were just having a blast.
Amanda was driving the kind of mower that doesn't have a steering wheel, but instead has the two levers that you pull back and forth independently to steer. I grew up using a mower almost exactly like that one... and I have fond memories of spinning cookies in the grass with that sucker. And that's what she was doing - spinning crazy cookies and smiling and giggling and being as carefree as a kid could ever be.
When Brandon let loose on the same two-levered toy, he literally shrieked with laughter. His face and smile lit up like I've never seen before. He was in his own world, lost in the excitement of driving this machine so freely and so alone. No one was helping him; no one had to lead him; no one stopped him from doing what he wanted to do. We were there watching and making sure the kids were safe, but they were set free to be.
*sigh* It was an awesome night.