He emerges from his room now when his computer kicks him off at 9pm. Working on Shakespeare, he came out last night hungry, as usual. He sat with me in the living room for a few minutes before asking sheepishly if he might cook a frozen pizza.
I had to laugh. It would be nearly 10 before he would eat, but the boy is constantly hungry and a frozen pizza seemed to delight him at that hour. I agreed.
We sat and talked while the pizza cooked. As we laughed, I started to smell the pepperoni and sausage and finally asked my sheepish question back, "Might I have one piece of your pizza when it comes out?"
So over pizza and tall glasses of milk, we talked and laughed and mad fun of the dog and the cats.
And it was then that Flash said it. It came out as unpretentious as the whole evening had been. "I just realized I have something to add to my bucket list, Mom."
"I didn't know you had a bucket list, Flash."
"Well, I do now, anyways. I think I just realized the first item that needs to be put on the list. Remind me later, Mom, to write it down."
"No, Flash. Go get your journal now, and write it down now, before you forget. You can't let these things slip through your fingers!"
So off he went to get his journal, returning to the living room and his abandonded pizza with a leather-bound book I had bought him a summer or two ago. One with not many pages filled in just yet, but still with love for knowing it was there when he needed it. Flash flipped to the back, to one of the last pages and began his Bucket List. I encouraged him to write the date next to the items as he adds them to his list.
In the back of Flash's journal, item #1 on his "Things To Do Before I Die" list, it reads:
1. Have frozen pizza in the middle of the night with my child.
I said, "Hey, Flash? I think I just came up with a new one for my bucket list, too."
"What's that, Mom?"
Have frozen pizza in the middle of the night with my grandchild.
We both laughed and then talked about a competitive race to see who would get to cross the item off their list first.
As we continued to talk into the night, and shared other ideas of what might someday be included on our bucket lists, as I mentioned how I hope to travel to Ireland, he added #2 to his list, "Travel to England". We think maybe we'll try to make that a combined trip at some point.
But I love how much he treasures the soft, sweet moments spent with someone you hold dear just as much as I do. That it isn't always about the big things, or the momentous occasions, but it's about the small, quiet moments, where you share laughter and thoughts and fears that bring you closer.
If it hadn't been on my bucket list already, I might have now added sharing frozen pizza in the middle of the night with my child. And next to it, I'd place a tear-stained check.