Friday, January 15, 2010


Today I took charlie to feed some nearby ducks. We've been reading about ducks and ponds, so this was a logical field trip. I tried to show him how to feed the ducks, but he was more interested in eating the bread himself. He perked up a little when a territorial goose got close and started braying what I could only assume was a warning. I snapped a few photos and then we retreated to sit in the grass for a bit, feel the spray on our faces, and head home. I often find myself doing things with Charlie and not really knowing how much he enjoyed it, but feeling satisfied that I've fulfilled some common childhood experience. Fed ducks--check! Normal childhood in progress.

In spite of the photographs, I'm not sure if this day will be etched in my memory forever. I've recorded it for posterity, but it was just another day in grand scheme of things.

When you look back, searching for those perfect moments, it's often the littlest things that stick out in your mind.

There was the time I drove two girls I hardly knew home from a camp out and bonded over a mutual love of Madonna's Immaculate Collection and boy talk. We're still friends today.

There was the time I'd gotten my driver's license, but I didn't have insurance yet, so a friend and I drove up the street and then back down it in my mom's LeBaron, listening to B97, and plotting the day when we'd finally be able to go to Taco Bell by ourselves. The freedom.

Fifteen years later, there's no evidence these times ever happened.

There are no pictures from the time a friend and I drove around until we found a good patch of sun and then laid out in the bed of her pickup. There are no pictures of sitting up late on the dock of a lake in Mississippi and talking about things that felt profoundly important at the time. There are no pictures of late-night plotting sessions that took place in the stairwells of the dorm.

But they are there, in my memory, forever. Some of the best moments are the ones you don't see coming--a few fleeting minutes that you will never forget for one reason or another.

Most mornings, my husband and Charlie get up at the same time and leave me lying in my bed, eyes clenched tight, firmly refusing to accept that dawn has broken. I give all new meaning to the term "not a morning person," and pretty much anyone who has ever known me, knows to just avoid the situation. So, I lie there, and Charlie and Dad have a delicious breakfast of eggs, oatmeal, and coffee for Dad. They listen to the news, and Mom gets a few more precious moments of sleep.

I usually get up and stumble into the room eventually, but this morning I was still fast asleep when it was time for Hubby to head off to the money-making place. He brought Charlie into our room, laid him down next to me, and gave him a toy to play with. After a few minutes, I started to regain consciousness and there was Charlie, happily making some classical song play, kicking his legs now and then, content. I reached over and squeezed his toy for him, making a new, different song play and he turned and smiled and then happily went back to the serious business of playing.

I knew as I lay there in bed, with sleep in my eyes, and the breath of a dragon, that this was one of those moments. Not one caught on film, with styled hair and uncomfortable clothes, but the kind of moment that I'll store in my mind and take out when he's too old for this sort of thing. A few stolen moments, before the day began, before whining, to-do lists, and caffeine withdrawal, where we could just lie there and be.