The Moments That Seem Like Nothing, But Mean Everything

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I am up early every day during the week just so I have time to sip my coffee quietly on the couch and watch as the sun rinses the last bits of night from the morning sky.  It is one of my favourite times of the day.  This also happens to be my younger sons’ favourite time of the day, but for a different reason.  About ten minutes into my coffee I will inevitably hear the soft shuffle of feet across the floorboards above, followed by the muffled tumble of footsteps on the stairs.  Seconds later my beautiful, sweet boy will appear in the living room, sleep still clinging to his eyes.  With ruffled hair and a drowsy smile he will climb awkwardly onto the couch in order to fold his warm, sleepy body into mine.  I will rest my head on top of his, and time will stop while we sit, often in silence, and drink in the sweetness of the moment.  This is my daily reminder to breathe, to be present and to love the quiet in-between moments that may seem like nothing, but mean absolutely everything.




Do You Feel Beautiful?

IMG_20170502_103040_320“You look beautiful!” my daughter exclaimed when she saw me standing in the kitchen this morning.  I was dressed in sweat pants, a baggy old sweater that had seen better days, and my hair had been hastily pulled back into a messy bun.  My body was slumped tiredly against the counter; a strong cup of coffee in one hand, cold, weak toast in the other.

“Thank you,” I said, setting my breakfast down.  I knelt down, and my soon to be 4 year old launched herself into my arms.  Her little body was still warm from sleep, and her hair held the soft, sweet smell of apples.  I pressed my lips to her forehead.  “You are beautiful too, sweetheart,” I said.

She pushed back, abruptly.  “Not yet!” she exclaimed.  “I’m not dressed in my beautiful clothes!  And my hair doesn’t have anything beautiful in it!”

“Huh,” I said, thoughtfully tilting my head to the side.  I studied her for a moment.  Golden hair cascading gently down her back, blue eyes filled with laughter and wonder, rosy cheeks flushed with the excitement of a new day.  My daughter is, in fact, quite beautiful.  Yet I didn’t rush her over to a mirror in order to point that out.  Instead, I shared a secret.

“I guess I haven’t told you about the secret to true beauty yet, have I?” I mused.

“What is it?” she gasped.

“Well,” I began.  “True beauty isn’t something you see at first.  It’s something you feel.”  My daughter looked confused, but snuggled in closer and listened intently.

“The most beautiful people in the world are kind, helpful, loving and good.  Their beauty is inside of them.  So when you meet these people, they have the kind of beauty that shines through from the inside out.  You feel good when you’re around them.  Sometimes you feel their beauty before you see it.”

“What if we put jewelry on?” my daughter asked.  “Does that make us beautiful?”

“Jewelry can be very pretty,” I said, nodding, “and it’s fun to wear, but it doesn’t make us beautiful.  It doesn’t matter what clothes we have on, or what our hair looks like.  If we are not beautiful on the inside, we can never truly be beautiful on the outside.”

My daughter thought about this for a moment while she played with a thread that was slowly unraveling from the cuff of my sweater.  “Mom?” she said, looking up at me.  “You feel beautiful to me.”

“You feel beautiful to me, too,” I said, hugging her closer.

And she is.


Learning To Be In The Moment


Yesterday I took my two year old daughter swimming at the Wave Pool.  It was her first time being there when the waves came on (usually we go during the leisure swim time).  If you have ever been to a wave swim before, you know that they sound an alarm before the waves begin, so it can be quite startling if you aren’t expecting it.  When my daughter first heard it, her eyes grew wide, and she inched closer to me.  I explained what was about to happen, but she looked somewhat skeptical about the whole process.

Then the water began to move.  We watched as it slowly began to swell and roll toward us.  My daughter grabbed my hand and started pulling me toward the shallow end.  I thought she wanted to leave, but instead, she stopped to watch as the waves crashed onto the steps; an explosion of water dancing before our eyes.  She looked up at me, her eyes in full-on sparkle mode, and said, “This is SO COOL!!”  Then she turned around and pulled me back into the pool.  When she was about thigh deep in the water, she raised her fist in the air and shouted, “YEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!” (which I suppose is the traditional battle cry of her people), and began trying to jump over and into the waves.

She was so completely lost in the moment, so thoroughly consumed with the raw joy of the experience, that it made me realize how far removed I had become from my own joyful moments in life.  These days, life has become such a jumbled rush that the simple moments, the ones that sometimes need the most attention, don’t shine the way they used to.  They get taken for granted and sometimes missed altogether.  I need to remind myself to slow down again, and to start getting excited about the little things.  Or, better yet, I need to learn the battle cry of my people, and turn to splash through the waves with my daughter by my side.