I have a question… Are you noticing the moments? The small ones? I’m pretty sure they’re the most important ones. Because, in combination, they actually equal a whole lot. Way more than the daily bull shit that tends to drag us all down. I wish we were better at noticing those amazing moments.
Today I went shopping for a new pair of shoes. Ryan was with me, and I forgot the stroller. I actually don’t use it all that much anymore, but there are times when it’s so helpful. Today would’ve been one of those days. As I roamed around DSW, Ryan was his usual self. Knocking stacks of shoe boxes on the floor, climbing shelves, loud, and just all around difficult… But cute as hell. It took what felt like an eternity to get from the entrance of the store to my destination at the back left corner. But honestly, I wasn’t in a rush, so I consciously decided to not get annoyed, and slowly followed Ryan, and interjected his shenanigans when necessary.
Eventually we got where we were going and I started looking for black dress shoes. I grabbed a pair of peds, and quickly scanned the aisle for anything cute to try on. Meanwhile, Ryan decided to pick up all the scraps of tissue paper on the floor and deliver them to a nearby trash bin. I kept him in my peripheral as I tried on a pair of shoes. Two women, old enough to be Ryan’s grandmother, were browsing purses at a display next to where I was sitting. As Ryan returned from his final trip to the trash, he ran toward the women like a bat out of Hell, and aggressively yanked the purse out of one of the women’s hands as he proclaimed, “It’s RED! It’s my bag!” Then he refused to let go.
I was appalled. He has never done something like that to a stranger before. I quickly walked over, removed the bag from his hands and said, “You’re right. It is red. But it isn’t yours. It’s her’s.” Then I handed the bag back to the nice woman, and apologized for his behavior. The moment that followed was what stuck with me… It was one of those ‘small moments’ I was referring to earlier. She looked at my little boy with obvious love in her eyes and responded, “It’s okay.”
That was it… But her look said it all. She didn’t even know my sweet boy, and all that she saw of him was misbehavior. But it didn’t matter. She looked at him with love anyway. That moment stuck with me all day.
Hours later, I was driving both Ceci and Ryan home from picking Ceci up at school. As we were driving along, Ceci asked, “Mama, what do you call a camel with three humps?” I pretended to think really hard then responded, “Pregnant!” Admittedly, if I hadn’t already heard that joke about a million times, I wouldn’t have known the answer, buuuuut… Anyway, Ceci sighed then continued, “Okay, let’s do that again, but this time pretend you don’t know the answer, okay?” I obliged, and she asked again. This time I totally embellished with my thinking face, then said, “I don’t know. What?” “PREGNANT!” She yelled, then laughed as loud and obnoxiously as is humanly possible. I followed suit and did a loud, fake laugh as well. Ryan, who had been sitting beside Ceci observing the whole interaction, joined in the fun, and he too began fake laughing. As the laughter died down, Ryan turned to Ceci with a serious expression on his face and said, “Ceci, that no funny joke!” With a dramatic scowl on his face, he gave a little “hmmfff”as he crossed his arms across his chest and glared at his sister. I glanced in the review mirror to gauge Ceci’s reaction to Ryan’s comment. She gave me a toothy grin then said, “He’s two, Mama. He has no clue what he’s talking about.” Then she laughed a real belly laugh… And we all cracked up laughing. I looked back at both of my kids and made sure to relish that silly little moment. They’re the best kind.
When you’re a parent I think it’s pretty easy to notice and be grateful for those types of small moments. They happen everyday, countless times. But children aren’t the only ones that gift us with those ‘small moments’ that are so important. We all have the ability to give small moments of joy to those around us. Right? And I think most of us do it without so much as giving it a thought… Anytime you hold a door open for the person walking behind you. Or when you let a car merge in front of you in a line of traffic. And of course when you go through the drive-thru at Dunks, make eye contact with the person who made your coffee, and say ‘thank you,’ and really mean it. We all do these types of things every single day. We pat our loyal dogs on their heads when they greet us at the door. We notice when the air smells good after a good long bout of rain. And all women love that amazing feeling when we unclip our bras at the end of a long day… Am I right?! Ha!
Lately I’ve been trying really hard to notice those small moments, because in the blink of an eye, they’re gone. Pushed into the past. I try to take just an extra moment to appreciate all of life’s little moments of joy that can so easily pass us by, completely unnoticed. I enjoy a summer breeze. I smile at complete strangers. I tickle torture my kids. I drive with my window down and my radio up. I sing loud as fuck and dance in the driver’s seat, and when those passing by notice and laugh, I wave and smile. All life is, is the compilation of small moments. Most of them are good, with some bad ones sprinkled in. Notice the good ones. Appreciate them. And give them out to others. If you do, I promise you, that even amidst the troubles and chaos of our world, you will see… Life is good.
Don’t Blink ~ Kenny Chesney