As the glare from the laptop washed Ryan's face in pale blue light he stopped typing and glanced over the screen at the prone body of his seven year old son, Max. He was sprawled on the floor devouring the words in his new book. The boy sure loved to read. His wife, Meghan, had come home recently from the bookstore with the first in a new series, and Max had finished it in only three days. This afternoon Meghan and Max had picked up the next one in the series and it was now in the eager hands of his son.
Ryan's thoughts turned to dinner and was saddened by the speed in which he had eaten, and the lack of conversation he had participated in. It was starting to become habit. He had excused himself from the table and apologized for leaving the dishes once again to his wife. Meghan had sure filled in the gap he had left within the family after he accepted the new position at work. It was a pay raise and sure would look good on his resume he had pointed out. Meghan had smiled and said what a wonderful opportunity it would be.
As Ryan turned his attention back to the screen, Max asked, "Dad, what is this word?" Ryan leaned over as Max came close and pointed out the troubling word.
"Inspiration," Ryan said.
"Thank you. What does it mean?" Max questioned.
"Well," Ryan replied, "It is sort of a feeling. Have you ever seen or read about anyone that was able to accomplish a task that seemed impossible when they started? Then after learning about their achievements it left you wanting to push yourself to do better?"
"Like that movie where the baseball team was made up of the players no one wanted and they were able to win the championship?" Max wondered.
Ryan smiled, "Yeah, like that." He reached over and ruffled the boy's dark hair. As Max returned to his place on the floor, Ryan watched him. He marveled at how the boy seemed to grasp ideas even though he felt sure he was only confusing him. It was amazing how fast he was growing up.
As Ryan went back to his work he heard Meghan call down the hall, "Max, time for bed."
Ryan looked up as Max put down the book. "Goodnight kiddo," he said.
"Night Dad," Max replied as he put his arms around him. "I love you."
"I love you too," Ryan answered.
Ryan started typing as Max walked toward the door. Just before leaving the room Max stopped and turned around. "Dad?" Max called over.
Ryan looked up, "What's up big guy?"
"I was thinking about that word, and what it means."
"Do you understand it or do you need some more help?" Ryan asked.
"No, I understand. I just wanted to tell you what my inspiration is," Max replied.
"What's that," Ryan asked, glancing at the computer screen.
"You are my inspiration." And then the boy turned and walked out of the room.
As Ryan looked over at the empty doorway a tear started to form in his eyes. After a moment he whispered through the tears, "Thank you son. But you are my inspiration."
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