Shark Boy is six years old.
Big enough to go camping with Mom on the Boy Scouts weekend camping trip and do all sorts of fun things - hiking, skipping stones, canoeing, pitching a tent, and building a campfire.
Old enough to have real conversations with - about what kinds of rocks these are, would it be rude tell the teacher that you are stressed out sometimes at school, and which smells worse - dogs or horses.
He ran around with the other Scouts shouting "ooga! ooga!" into the darkness and got insanely muddy and was happy digging in the dirt with a stick.
Six years old is an age I like for a boy, because he is still a little boy.
On our special camp out, he was unreservedly happy and completely "in the moment" in the way only children can be, doing things with Mom without any hint of embarrassment or rebellion.
Around our campfire on a dark cold night, he chose to sit on my lap instead of in his own chair. He poked at the fire with a stick, then leaned his head back on my shoulder and slowly fell asleep. It had been a long time since I'd held this sleeping boy in my lap. My arms clasped in front of him, I listened to his breathing for a long time, stealing glances at his profile, and memorizing memorizing memorizing.
When it was too cold and too late to sit there any longer, I reluctantly woke him and we climbed into our tent and I kissed him goodnight.
It was with utter unconcern that he had packed his beloved turtle and now he snuggled down in his sleeping bag with this lovey tucked under his arm. No worry crossed his mind about the other Scouts seeing it, and for that reason, I made sure they did not.
Early the next morning, mist still rising from the lake and the sun barely touching the tree tops, I took this shot from the unzipped doorway of our tent as he ran past. Forty degrees! Seeing your own breath is no deterrent for a boy, of course.
At six years old, as I walked along this country lane, my little boy skipped to catch up and slip his small hand into mine. Unbidden, holding hands with Mama willingly and naturally, it was a moment to savor. At what age will he refuse to hold my hand? Will he be "too big for that" next year?
I heard someone say just this evening, "Be here right now. You can be someplace else later."
I will try to be like my boy and enjoy what is. I'll stay in the moment.