Those moments that really make a difference

From the last 12 months:


L has a cheap deep purple sweater we got from Target. It has slightly puffed sleeves at the shoulders and a knit bow with a plastic jewel on the side of a scooped neckline. It looks exactly like something my grandmother would have worn. And with her hair in a short bob and her thin little body, she is a flapper, an elegant, swan-necked flapper sitting on the couch talking about how she teases one of the boys who she plays with during recess. I feel like putting a long string of pearls around her neck and giving her a cigarette holder.


The days when I did everything for B

B, looking at her baby book, and saying, “I loved being a baby! I didn’t have to do any chores and you looked after me all the time.”


Two girls sit giggling upstairs in our winter rental during the renovation — they’ve played a game of deep fantasy most of the night, where they are both queens.  I’ve read to them in bed a story about a girl who triumphs over the bad guy, an outrageous bad guy, who loses hilariously and perfectly.  At the moment of his downfall, one girl leaps up on her knees, totally in the story, fists in the air for the heroine’s triumph. And now I am downstairs, warm and slightly awake enough to have a few minutes of my own thoughts. I am solidly here, in this time, as a mother, tonight, the guardian of two precious girls. Everything is just right


L comes to me this morning right out of bed, holding her arms above her head so I will catch hands and she can stretch against me.


The belle of the recycling fashion show in her tarp dress and lampshade parasol

L slept with us last night after being in the local recycling fashion show in a dress made out of an old tarp. We’d worked for weeks on this. She was a big hit, and came home wound up, hardly in her body, refusing to eat. She went straight to bed saying, that she felt strange and couldn’t figure out why.

I talked about adrenaline let-downs. Her response: “Mommy, why did we work so hard for so long and it’s over in ONE MINUTE!” and then burst into tears. I told her sometimes one-minute events are worth all the work.

I woke up at 5 am, with her head on my shoulder, her arm wrapped around my head and her body twitching gently,  an arm, then a leg, a finger, her face: her body a horizon where the dry lighting shoots off every other second, slowly unwinding the electric tension of the night before, restoring balance between earth and sky, inner and outer.


As I take a rest, I hear my children playing in the back yard. I am reminded of when they were younger and I would lie exhausted in my bed in winter afternoons and my husband would entertain them. Often, suddenly, they’d come bursting into the snowy back yard, bundled up like onions and play like puppies, shrieking with delight, rolling giant snowballs, L always taking a moment to stop and lick the snow. They didn’t know I could see them, my little ones, rustling, tumbling, scooping up the total, total joy.


What are your jewel-like moments with your family?

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2 Responses to Those moments that really make a difference

  1. Tonia says:

    Car rides with a single child (all 3 at various times) when there would be a level of disclosure and connection between us that sometimes got lost in the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life.
    Vacations when we would laugh and laugh and laugh together as a family – the 4 of us – because we all share the same love of laughter.
    Our shared grief – intimate and deep – when my mother died. We didn’t hide our pain or feel the need to “protect” one another by hiding our grief. We somehow knew that by sharing our tears we, not only honored our relationships with my mother, we created yet another bond with each other.

  2. growingmygirls says:

    Oh, Tonia — after years of hating them, I now love car rides too! I get more information and can have better discussion. The only other good time is bedtime — then they’re putting off sleep as much as possible, but it’s interesting!
    Thanks for your comment.

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