Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Moments to hold onto
I bought the box of Cheerios months ago for my daughter, who is now 15 months old.
She never really wanted any. Yet, still the box sat, largely untouched in the kitchen pantry. She might change her mind, I thought. Better keep it.
When I began packing for our move a couple weeks ago, that box of cereal moved to a Rubbermaid tub on the kitchen floor. Paige has enjoyed the new "toys" that have surfaced on her level in that tub. There, she discovers such treasures as pens, flour, half-eaten bags of tortilla chips, aluminum foil and cereal boxes.
Last night as I finished dinner, Paige was playing in the kitchen.
I heard it first. The sound was a bit like sand being thrown onto the sidewalk or rice being shaken in its container.
I turned my head to see Paige, upended cereal box in hand, several Cheerios on the floor.
I had plenty of time to react. To yell, "No! Paaaige! Don't do that!" (Can you almost hear me saying that?).
But I didn't.
And then she dumped the rest of the cereal out.
All of it. All over the floor.
And as those tiny circles of cereal that I don't blame her for not liking rained down on my floor and scattered throughout the dining room and the kitchen, I laughed even harder.
This moment, for whatever reason, I chose to enjoy. And it wasn't a conscious decision either. It was just what came out.
I loved it.
And as I sat there smiling, watching the crumbs stick to my daughter's feet as she ran across the field of cereal she'd planted on my laminate, her laughter was the sweetest sound I'd ever heard.
I realized that these moments are worth laughing about.
I realized that these moments will be gone too quickly.
I realized that before I know it my babies' evenings will be filled with things like baseball practice and homework and phone calls or (dear God help me) Facebook.
These babies might not always want Mom around to laugh with.
I realized, as I stared at all that cereal, that this was a moment to hold onto. Like that lock of hair from their first haircuts.
To keep in my memory as not a mess to clean up but a time we all laughed together with nothing else alive in that room but each other.