The Smallest Moments

Lately I’ve found the greatest joy in the smallest moments.

Like the time I pulled out of the driveway for a quick grocery run at bedtime and I saw the outline of a little head in the window, watching me leave. I could not see my baby’s face, but I knew it was filled with longing. This is the sweetness of life. By loving deeply, I am deeply loved.

Or the morning I dropped off my big girl on her second day of kindergarten. I watched as she enthusiastically followed the procedures she’d learned the day before, hanging up her backpack next to her name card and retrieving her snack and dropping it into the snack bucket. When she looked up to notice me, her face lit up and her hand waved, ready and willing for me to leave–without more hugs or more kisses or more goodbyes–before I was ready and willing to leave. I will never forget how she looked when she smiled and waved across the sea of children and parents.

Or every time I pick her up, when I see her happy face emerge from the classroom, her baby sister calling her name. The best part of my day, five days per week.

Or the Pisces super moon rising over Napa Valley last weekend, the magnificent golden orb against sapphire sky, the last night of my husband’s thirties. We first saw the moon as we walked “home” to our hotel from a dinner at everyone’s favorite restaurant, our daughters frolicking in the vineyard alongside us, all long dresses and glittery purses and curly hair, Pisces in their sun, moon and rising, collectively. This life, it never ceases to line up.

There have also been small moments that rock me. That stick with me. That tug at my edges.

Like the time my big girl and I walked in different directions at school pick-up and I couldn’t find her for a good one or two minutes and then I saw her, from the other end of the hall, hovering near the front door of the school, her profile silhouetted by the sun. I will not forget that instant of sweet relief, my heart still pounding, but wrapped in my children. Perhaps losing track of your child at her own elementary school does not merit panic, but it is what it is. This moment is sticky.

Or like the day she got hurt at school. She didn’t eat lunch because she was too upset by the owies she’d gotten on the playground after colliding with a little boy. When she confessed she hadn’t told an adult about the incident because she didn’t want them to clean her wounds, when I fully understood how vulnerable she is at school, without me there to hold her when she falls–I won’t forget any of that.

Nor will I forget what happens inside of me every time my sweet toddler screams at the top of her lungs because she doesn’t want to be in the carseat and I know she’s tired and should be napping and I made a scheduling mistake. Her pain is my pain. I cannot separate myself from it. Or maybe I just don’t want to. Is there a difference? Between not wanting and not able? Between her and I? These things are not completely the same, but not completely separate.

These small moments, like strong winds they knock me over and they push me and they carry me. They shock me and they shake me. They open me and they mend me.

To read more of my thoughts on motherhood, mindfulness and the creative life, please follow the blog or subscribe via feedburner.

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