Sunday, February 10, 2013

I Breathed In Magical Moments Like Oxygen and Even So

appreciating simple things

Last night, P. fell asleep hard after a day of wading through powdery snow drifts higher than her head in some spots.

I went in to sing to her, the same song I've sang to her almost every night for probably a year: Voi Che Sapete from the Marriage of Figaro.

P. was asleep. I started to sing anyway, and she shifted in her bed to reach for my hand and bring it up close to her face.

The feel of her hot breath on my hand reminded me so much of those many moments during her first two years when she'd fall asleep on my chest as an infant or splayed across me as a toddler.

I choked a little on the words of the song. Experienced parents, especially those whose children are grown or so close to grown that they can feel the end of an era coming acutely, will tell you to appreciate the everyday. Sometimes that refrain is tiresome. Rebuttals have been written, even.

But let me tell you I didn't stumble over the lyrics because I think I missed something. I appreciated the heck out of P.'s first two years and then the much harder third and fourth years where we two were suddenly a little more tired and a little more stressed at the end of the day.

I choked because I swear I breathed in magical mundane moments like oxygen and they still came and went just like every other moment.

How many goodnight kisses now? How many long afternoons with a baby slumped sleeping in my arms? How many 'I love you, mamas'?

How many adventures have come and gone even though I grabbed them for all they were worth, taking photographs with my camera and with my head?

P. will be four on Valentine's Day. Appreciate the moments, the parents and the grandparents and the great-grandparents say. It's a good reminder, and not really so tiresome a refrain.

9 comments:

  1. Beautiful Christa - I have both perspectives and the "moments" change - you have to constantly adjust your lens so that you can see them but they're there. I have no doubt you won't miss thing. xo

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  2. Everyday I feel like I'm missing the moments. It doesn't seem to matter how many times I drop everything I'm doing to "ride the bus" to the "zoo" in our living room, or watch and listen, as my girls narrate the pictures they are coloring. I still feel like I can't get enough of those moments with them. The ones that keep my alive. I agree. It's not a tired refrain. It's a crucial reminder that we should be paying attention and enjoying.

    Maybe we need to come up with a new way of saying it, so we (and other parents) won't forget!

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  3. Wonderful imagery. Great post. My children are long grown and I have grandchildren now. There are times when I wish I could go back and do some things over. But the past is the past and it's all entwined with who we are now. Thanks for the post. Followed you from SITS.

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  4. A beautiful post in every way. :) I find myself having these kinds of moments more and more lately as my children grow.

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  5. The beautiful moments continue and life with adult children and grandchildren is also wonderful.

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  6. My youngest is very snuggly, but his big brother - not so much anymore. It makes me sad and it also makes me REALLY, REALLY appreciate the moments when he does want to give me a kiss or hug :)

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  7. My baby turned 29 last month! I was okay with things until the Easter she was 17, and told me I didn't need.......NEED........to make her an Easter basket! I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. I'm okay now, and she's a good kid, on her way to Medical School.......yay! But it was touch and go there for awhile.

    xo Linda

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  8. I still miss when my son would fall asleep in my arms sucking his thumb and snuggling in tight. But the last time I saw him (he lives with my parents), he told me he was happiest when I was around because I treat him like a regular person. I got a little choked up, and I told him he was my best friend.

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