What happens to the moments in life when I’m almost ready? Almost, but not quite there yet.
The moment when the eyes spark with soul and the smile tweaks baby cheeks on a preschooler’s face, the moment right before my finger manages to snap the picture in which she’s blinked and her cheeks look like smooshed play dough.
The moment when I am in tears in a rocking chair in a dark nursery. When a baby is in tears in my arms in a rocking chair in a dark nursery. When we’ve both been up multiple times in the night for the nth night in a row long past the number of months when I am assured by all baby books and internet wisdom that babies should sleep through the night.
The moment when the giggles drown out the ambient noise of DVD player in the minivan. The giggles for which there is no bottle to capture. No app to record. No pause button on life to linger before they turn into screeches of rivalry.
The moment when she scoops up a handful of sea foam and a bird hovers like a dark stain in the sky above her head and the wind whips her blond hair into the corner of her mouth and the ocean behind her lines up for a quarterback sack and my camera is still packed in its bag back at the beach house.
The moment when she says “Oh, for goodness snakes” and it’s all about the inflection and the mistake and repeating it in my head rings false and tarnished compared to the magic she buffs it with as it comes out of her mouth.
The moment when I can be plucked like a tense, tuned E-string while shoving a shopping cart through the aisles of Target, attempting to get all the necessities in one trip because Lord help me if I manage to remember to get macaroni and cheese and bandaids and mascara and birthday card and underwear and Boogie Wipes and water bottle and gardening gloves and staples and Ziploc bags and hand soap and nail polish but forget the dye-free Tylenol and have to return with two children in/out of the house/car/cart for a mere single item.
The moment when we wave hands out of the car window, ushering a dear friend onto the Turnpike and away from our house, the final moment of good-bye, witnessed by a long-haul trucker and a mom in an SUV and a guy driving a water heater repair truck.
What happens to these moments when we’re almost there? almost perfect? almost ready? almost aware?
So much of what encapsulates my life does get captured and logged by picture and word, and for that very fact of modern technology and social media, I am eternally grateful. When I was a girl, I had great love for my leaf and flower press. I remember tightening those four screws tight and tighter onto the flower sandwiched between layers of cardboard, tightening until the screws left red dents in my fingertips. I remember these details. But where are the flowers? I don’t know or remember.
What happens when we’ve preserved some things, and other things, only almost preserved?
Day 31 of 31 days. For the month of October, I’m joining in on 31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes. Following the rules to write an unedited response to a prompt in 5 minutes, I’m grateful for the challenge of Write 31 Days.