In every life there are moments of greatness. Weddings, graduations, births, and promotions automatically come to mind.
But there are other much less “significant” moments in life that sometimes surpass or at least rival these major life events. Moments when you close your eyes and try to etch those minutes and seconds into your memory forever. Moments that make you wish you could stop time.
Last week, I had two such moments with my boys.
While Landon took an afternoon nap, Jacob and I settled on the couch under a down blanket to read books. He is not always a good listener, but that day, he snuggled right in my lap, stuck his thumb in his mouth, rubbed the ear of his favorite stuffed animal (doggie, we call him) and watched, listened and sucked quietly while I read the words and turned the pages. He was content, and so was I. No fighting over turning the pages, no squirming off the couch, and no throwing books (or other objects). It was wonderful.
As we sat there the afternoon sun came streaming through the windows leaving its rays of light and warmth on the couch, the rug, the walls and on us. I noticed the sun illuminating the backs of Jacob’s ears turning them fire orange and felt the glow of the sun on the back of my own head. It may have only lasted ten or fifteen minutes, but it was a magical fifteen minutes that will stand in my memory (I hope) forever. These are the moments when you can’t imagine your life any other way, as difficult and as draining as being a mother can be. And these are the ones to remember.
Later that night I was putting Landon to bed, Jacob already quiet in his crib. After nursing him, I lifted his drowsy body to my shoulder to pat his back for a few minutes before lying him down. With barely any effort, he gently laid his tiny head on my shoulder, his forehead touching my chin. He was limp in my arms, resting, trusting, sleeping. It’s the closest thing you get to a hug from a seven month old and it was marvelous. I sat there holding him and rocking back and forth, not wanting the moment to end and once again, closing my eyes etching that moment, that feeling, into my mind and my heart forever.
Perhaps it’s when you are going through trials that these moments become so clear and assert themselves as such wonderful moments. You look at your life with new eyes and are suddenly extremely grateful for the very simple and very meaningful things in life that are often taken for granted.
This Christmas I could care less about presents (at least for myself) and a little bit less about cookies (haha). I’m just grateful I get to spend it with my family, whom I love so much, and can look forward to many more simple moments of greatness.