The Tiny Things
I had a bit of an epiphany last week. I'm somewhat epiphany-prone, so this wasn't too surprising, but it happened while I was standing outside our home. Husband and the girls lounged on our front stoop. We all waited for the school bus to pull up. It was a Monday morning. We were all a bit sluggish, droopy. I looked at my crew and I smiled. Because I love them and fiercely, but also because this was such a tiny, in-between, everyday moment. There was nothing shiny or perfect about the portrait before me. Husband looked downright exhausted; he was staring down, appeared to be meditating. My tiniest was still in her too-small pajamas. Her hair was tangled and she ate an apple bar. My middlest threaded her arms through a pink hoodie because there was a crisp hint of fall in the air. My biggest girl looked terribly pensive, as if she were pondering something profound; she stared at a spot on the sidewalk with a steady focus; looked a whole lot like her dad.
And I just stood back, a smile spreading across my face, observing and also snapping away. It hit me, and hard, that this is the stuff I want to remember too, these tiny crumbs of real life, these mundane moments that are really magic if you look closely. It also hit me that this is the stuff in danger of being crowded out over time, that the big things will linger in my memory - the birthday parties and first days of school - but that the tiny things are far more precarious, far more easily lost.
Maybe this is just the way things work. Maybe we cannot remember it all, hold on to it all. Maybe living life, really living it, means moving from moment to moment without worrying so much about what will become of them over time.
Maybe it is incumbent upon us, if we care (and oh do I care), to open our sleepy eyes wide to the tiny moments of our days. Maybe we can hold on to some of them. Maybe we can learn to see them better, to tuck them away, to breathe them, to scribble them down, to etch them in our minds and hearts and memories and, yes, Instagram feeds. Maybe this is a discipline of sorts, of training ourselves to be more alert to the small sweet magic of our lives.