I’m sure, like most of you, I tend to read the same collection of stories over and over each evening after bath time. We have a nice variety in the toddler library but unless it has wheels it won’t be making the reading rotation for a while. He favors stories about hero tractors, animal loving blue pick-ups, and ego blessed monster trucks. I begin each story knowing that by the time we reach the 2nd or 3rd page he will have usurped the book from my hands to continue “reading” and acting out the rest for me.
“I AM A MONSTER TRUCK!” W collapses back onto his bed with glee and then boings back to continue, “I smash! I bash!” His eyes shine from the light of his star lamp and I quietly sit in a chair in his room loving every moment of this. He begins to explain the action on the page and points out all of his favorite vehicles. “It’s a school bus, Mama. RIGHT THERE!” “I’m going around and around and around!”
I was on a call with some people from Hallmark recently (I’m going to be doing some writing for them this year.) and we talked about these sort of moments – the in-betweens. We talked about how so many of us focus on the milestones of life, you know the big stuff like birthdays or firsts, but there are these amazing in between moments we all have with our family (and friends) that are just as huge. One of their campaigns, and the one that I will be working on, is about how “life is a special occasion”.
I was pretty good at chronicling simple moments with Millie because I knew they were fleeting. I would tell myself as I opened the curtains to her room each morning, “take in every moment of this day”. When you hear the ticking clock counting out the rhythm of every hour with a loved one that is dying you grab on to things because you are taking inventory of a life. When there are just weeks or months to go you can’t wait for the next holiday to celebrate – you have to rejoice that you made it to noon.
It’s something that I’m thinking about now. When W does something or says something I’m reminding myself THIS is just as special to remember and document as a holiday. I realize that I haven’t been taking as many photographs of him with my camera as I should. I have a good collection of cell phone photos – but for whatever reason I’ve put my real camera away and have been saving it for a special occasion. What am I waiting for? Why is his inventory any less precious?
This weekend we were having breakfast and W started telling a funny story. I popped up and grabbed my camera. I took a couple of photos and then looked at them in the LCD screen and gasped. When had he gotten so big? So beautiful? So silly? I was missing it because I was waiting.
I’m not saying that I think every moment with W should be savored. I can think of plenty of tantrums and meltdowns that I would love to tape over. But I like the idea of nudging myself to embrace more of these in-betweens. Remember to remember that he is a monster truck and a boy who tells funny stories at breakfast.
What’s the in-between that happened in your life today? I want to celebrate it with you.