We don't remember days- we remember moments.
A couple weeks ago I was busy cleaning the kitchen or something when I suddenly noticed how quiet it was. We all know what that means- usually a sign for trouble. So snuck upstairs to see what Clara was up to. I peeked into her room and found her sitting on the floor with a book in her lap and with more books scattered around her. I was relieved to find her out of mischief, more specifically not unrolling our mega size toilet paper roll, and I was pleased to find her perfectly content by herself with her books. That meant I could continue cleaning in a few more minutes of peace and quiet.
Before I rushed back downstairs to finish my chores, I thankfully stayed put and allowed myself a beautiful moment to sit and watch my child for a few minutes. From where I was standing, I had the advantage of seeing her without her seeing me, and trust me- she'd let me know of her disapproval if she knew I was watching.
I sat their for probably 10 minutes just trying to soak in every detail of the moment: the intensity of her eyes as they scanned the colorful pages; her mouth as it formed words like "Oh" and "wow" and all kinds of nonsense words; the sound of her adorable little voice; the size of some of the monstrous books compared to her tiny body; her small hands and fingers that turned each page; the vision of her surrounded by wonderful books. It was obvious the wheels in her head were turning, but I wondered what she was thinking about. For her, life is new and exciting and everything is a wonder. I realized as I sat there watching her that while I was trying to soak in everything about her, she was trying to soak in everything she saw in those books. I love watching my kids discover life.
As I watched her, tears welled up and my heart throbbed with joy. It was so exquisite that it almost hurt. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. I remember thinking, "If my kids get any cuter I'm going to go into cardiac arrest!" I was so glad that I took time away from cleaning so that I could have that moment with Clara. It was a simple moment but one that I will cherish always.
I learned two things from this moment. One, books are magical (really, I already knew that). Two, it's the small, everyday moments that are most important, and if we're not careful, they'll pass us by and we'll never get them back.
It's kinda funny- the more I take time to savor these moments in life, the more patient and loving I am with my kids. The more selfish I am with my time, the more impatient and not-so-loving I am. Funny how life works.
So, my challenge to you and to me, is to embrace each moment you have with your kids. Cling to them, savor them, "drink them in!" as Anne would say. Our lives will be more meaningful if we do, our children will be happier, and our hearts will throb with pangs of joy.