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Posts Tagged ‘moments’

Of course I remember the moment you were born, how could I ever forget it?  But, to be perfectly honest, I don’t really feel like the moment you were born was the moment I first met you, if that makes any sense at all.  The moment you were born the room was filled with a whole bunch of people, even more than usual perhaps, because you were being somewhat stubborn about your entry into the world.  I now know it was just a sign of things to come, that stubborn personality of yours that you inherited directly from me.

The room was filled with people and machines and lights and it just felt very busy.  They put you on my chest and I cried and your dad cried and we took pictures and they did all the things they have to do with you right in the beginning.  I remember feeling like I was in a daze, not sure what was going on but sure that I was supposed to be remembering it all, taking it all in, so I could tell you about it one day.

The first few hours were all about letting everyone know about you, that you had arrived, safe and sound, that you were a perfect little girl and the name we had given you.  It was about trying to track down your grandfather at the airport after a frantic, red-eye flight in from the West Coast when you decided to come just a little bit earlier than expected.  It was about everyone else getting to see you and kiss you and hold you, and I sort of felt as though I was at a distance.

Then they wheeled us into what would be our room for the next 24 hours and suddenly we were all alone, you and I.  I remember all of a sudden it seemed so quiet and so still and you looked so small wrapped up in that blanket with only your face showing.  I gingerly propped myself up on the pillow, easier said than done now that the medication was wearing off, and pulled your bassinet closer to the bed so I could reach you.

I kept expecting someone to come in and tell me I wasn’t allowed.  That I wasn’t allowed to take you out of there, that I wasn’t allowed to touch you, but then I realized that I was allowed, that you were mine and I was yours.  It seemed to take me hours to get you out of there, between my sore body and your seeming fragility I moved about one inch every minute, so afraid something would happen to you.  Finally I pulled you in close and lifted my feet back on the bed, laying back on the pillow and feeling the full weight of you in my arms for the very first time.

I gently unwrapped the blanket, it suddenly seemed very important that I look at all of you, not just your tiny face.  I looked at your toes, your feet and legs still curled up so tight.  I ran my fingers along your chest, feeling your heart beat under my hand for the first time.  I held your fingers, examined your tiny finger nails and pulled off your hat to see all of your beautiful dark hair.

And it was there, in those five minutes, hours and hours after you actually entered the world that I felt like you and I met for the first time. There in the silence of the hospital room while the world continued on just on the other side of a thin curtain, you were now all that mattered.  A little piece of me and a little piece of your dad and a whole lot of the amazing person you were going to become.

It’s now ten years later.  I don’t know how it’s happened but it has, and you are now so far from that little baby that I can hardly understand you are the same person.  But then I look into those huge brown eyes and run my fingers through your thick brown hair and I’m taken back to that room, in that bed, when it was just you and I.  I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, or how I ever got lucky enough to become your mom, and ten years later I feel essentially the same way.

And while the first ten years seemed to be very much about keeping you safe and teaching you some of the things you need to know, I kind of feel like the next ten are going to be more about me getting out of your way.  Me realizing that you are very much your own person now and it’s time for me to do less teaching and more watching, less directing and more appreciating, less questioning and more understanding.

We somehow managed to make it to this point, although I definitely had my doubts some days.  It’s a good thing you finally learned how to sleep for longer than 20 minutes at a time or I’m not so sure either one of us would still be here!  Between then and now there have been a million moments that I wish I could remember.  I wish I could pull them out of my pocket one at a time and examine them in my arms, like I did with you on your very first day.

But because I can’t, I will just take a moment to cherish you, as you are now, and for all of the million moments you have given me since that very first one.

I can only hope that the next million are going to be just as amazing.

Happy birthday baby girl.

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windows down

windows down

The other nights are about schedules and lists and chores to be done.

The other nights are about lunches to be packed, feet to be washed, clothes to be folded.

The other nights are about neat and tidy, lined up straight, spic and span.

Night after night after night.

But not this night.

This night is about rolling the windows down and turning up the radio.

This night is about taking the long way home so we can listen to just one more song.

This night is about playing drums on the side of the car, hands out the window, wind in our hair.

This night is about singing off key; as loud as we possibly can.

This night is about pulling over to the side of the road just to enjoy the pink sun dipping down behind the trees.

This night is about pajamas that don’t match.

This night is about bypassing the fruit and having ice cream before bed.

This night is about forgetting about those other nights.

Because there will be lots of time for those other nights; but very little time for nights like this.

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The bride wore white and walked down the aisle of the church on her father’s arm. The groom stood at the alter with a look so pure I could hardly take my eyes off him.

The vows were traditional and simple. I love personal vows but there’s also something so beautifully touching about hearing the old-fashioned words uttered in such a place.

To love, honour and cherish.

From this day forward.

As long as we both shall live.

The bride and I have been friends for years, after having worked together over a decade ago. We now live in different cities and see each other rarely but she thought enough of our friendship to invite me to this day.

And I thought enough of our friendship to know that I wouldn’t miss it.

I have been to my share of weddings and while some people dread them, the pomp, the expense, the time, I honestly love them. I love to see the ways that two people choose to show their love to each other and in this world where hate all too often gets all the attention. I love to see a celebration of all that is good and simple and hopeful.

Others may remember the dress or the food or the music, but I always remember the moments. The ones that made me laugh, or cry, or ache with love for the two people whose day we are celebrating.

From this past weekend I will remember how her mom stopped to compose herself before being escorted down the aisle to take her place, tears glistening in her eyes.

I will remember how my friend took deep breaths and clutched her bouquet tightly as she turned the corner, down the aisle toward her groom.

I will remember how the photographer almost knocked over a flower arrangement while the couple exchanged rings.

I will remember the feeling of the groom’s heartfelt, eloquent, laughter- and tear-filled speech long after I forget the actual words he spoke.

I will remember the dance shared by the bride and her father, as he mouthed along to the words of the song and she smiled and hugged him close.

I hold on to these moments, file them away to be pulled out on the grey days when nothing makes sense. Because on that day, in those moments, all that mattered were those two people, and the honour I felt in being asked to share in their love.

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the end is near

Just as surely as I could anticipate its arrival (summer days), I am now starting to sense its departure.

The calendar says we have a couple more weeks. A few more trips to the park, a few more strolls on the beach, a few more rocks to throw in the lake. But now, as I do each of these ‘just one more time’ I wonder if it will be the last.

When I walk out the door in the morning I’m met with a slight chill; not the wall of heat and humidity that met me just a few short weeks ago.

The schedule is starting to fill up – sports and music class registration, appointments, events. Summer is spontaneous and last minute; fall is contemplated and scheduled. I can start to see all of the balls lining up, a few more weeks of just looking at them before they will actually need to be thrown in the air and juggled.

But while there are definitely things I will miss about summer, fall is by far my favourite season.  A pot of soup simmering on the stove, chunky sweaters, soft jeans, brand new backpacks stuffed with pristine school supplies, kids brimming with stories about new teachers and new friends, crunching leaves on the sidewalk. I have always thought that fall is the season where endings and beginnings meet.

And while I may not be dreading the arrival of fall, I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer yet. And so I will sit on the back deck a few minutes longer, listen to the kids’ carefree voices, enjoy the feel of sliding my feet into a well-worn pair of flip flops, lean my face up toward the sun and feel its warmth on my cheeks.

I will smile, and savour a few more summer moments. The end is near.

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I sat on the bench waiting for her turn to come around. She was waiting more patiently than I anticipated and she eagerly agreed to ride by herself, something I also hadn’t expected.

After I led her to the end of the line I had pointed to the wooden bench about ten feet away, told her I would watch her from there and meet her at the exit when she was done. She nodded, excited at the prospect of doing something as grown-up as riding the Ferris Wheel by herself.

I sat on the bench and pulled out my phone. Since the invention of smart phones I have lost my ability to sit, without stimulation, for any length of time.

I looked up just in time to see her go through the turnstile and make her way up the ramp to her assigned seat. She got in and buckled up, looking very serious and deep in concentration about the whole thing.

The ride operator slowly made his way through the process of emptying and filling the seats, and from what I could see from her face as she moved further around the wheel, she was not impressed.

He filled the last seat and stepped back, pushing the lever all the way and the ride jumped to life, picking up speed as it went.

I scanned the seats, trying to find her and then there she was, coming down from the top peak of the wheel. The look on her face caused my breath to catch in my throat.

She was so caught up in the moment, the speed of it, the thrill of it, the sheer sense of freedom, that for once she wasn’t concerned with hiding her excitement in an attempt to look ‘cool’ or ‘grown-up.’

Instead she was just a kid, riding a ferris wheel on a beautiful summer day.

I scrambled to find my phone in my purse so I could take a picture. I wanted to capture this moment, to save it, file it away and keep it forever. I never wanted to forget that look of wonder and innocence on her face and I was so afraid that I would; that it would get lost in all of the other moments that make up a lifetime and disappear.

I pulled out the phone and fumbled to find the camera setting. How come I can never remember how to do this? I swore under my breath and looked up, trying once again to find her seat.

And then it hit me.

In my overwhelming need to capture this moment, I was actually missing it.

I stopped pushing buttons and folded my hands on my lap. I found my daughter’s seat on the ferris wheel and sat perfectly still for the next five minutes, just watching her.

Years from now I will probably have forgotten this moment, the look on her face and the way it made my heart skip a beat and I won’t have a picture to jog my memory.

I won’t have a picture because instead of scrambling to capture the moment, I sat back and experienced it.

And it felt good.

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