Recently we had a wonderful visit at the end of a horrible week. Daniel's brother Shawn, his fiancee Amy and her two boys came to spend some of their spring break with us. We spent two eventful, perfect days at a crowded breakfast table, on the harbor, around a bonfire, in the blooming yard, at the aquarium, on a speed boat and at a pirate festival. Our girls are taken with their very first cousins and the boys, though much older, couldn't be sweeter or more considerate of them. When they all left a night early the kids were disappointed and the grown-ups were exhausted. Daniel and I found ourselves with unexpected time. I cooked a real dinner and we ate after the kids went to bed and shared a bottle of sangria. PAUSE. We talked. He had been away for two weeks prior and would be away again the following week. It was nice to be the only two people in the room.
The next night we went on a previously scheduled (if ill-timed) double date with my brother and sister-in-law to see one of our favorite bands, Needtobreathe, in concert. Daniel had a 6:00 flight the next morning, and the show didn't start until 9:30 an hour away. PAUSE. But we were transported-- we danced and sang. We forgot. At least for an hour and a half.
Emerie said, "Dat sound wike a GOOD IDEA, Mama!" I took her to a coffee shop and she was a perfect doll. It was a moment in time. We sat in the corner and I drank coffee and shared my bagel sandwich while she drank apple juice and ate an enormous lemon muffin. She refused to sit in a high chair and sat across from me leaning on her still pudgy elbows. "So, Mama," she kept saying, as a conversation starter. It was so precious, and somehow I was so aware of it in the moment that my heart hurt; my eyes hurt from trying to memorize it.
A man walked in with his grade-school daughter. They sat nearby and I could feel him watching us as we talked. As he left he turned and said, "She's going to keep you company for a long time." I choked up when he said it, and I just did again.
I don't always see the beauty in the every day. Most moments don't shout significance. But in all of these cases it was like I packed them up and held them close, wore them under my clothes or tucked in my pocket. The morning with Emerie carried me through the rest of my whirlwind day, and it got me thinking. It's not about what big life issues are figured and what aren't, what's the way we want it and what isn't. Lately more than ever, I am recognizing the value of the lowercase moments that happen in between.