There are moments I want to bottle up, to stamp them into a glass cylinder and hold them tighter than tight inside that small space. To put them up on my highest shelf and bring them down from time to time, to wipe the settled bits of dust from the shiny glass surface and peer inside to revisit the moments worth savoring over and over. To swirl them around, tip them over--- to the left--- to the right---- to see what remnants float lazily to the front.
The sound of the dishwasher busily chugging and sudsing, a plate of cookies sitting half-eaten on the kitchen counter in the early summer evening light. We know that light: it's marigold and lemon.
Chip and Alice clamouring in the backyard, their voices reaching octaves higher than whistles. Watching Chip swing Bean's small shape way over the grass as she squeals.
Toes puckered and pruned from a too-long bath while Chip serenades Bean on his guitar.
Naptimes that go long enough for me to lay prone and comatose on the couch. Reading a MAGAZINE. (Can you just imagine?)
The words that have been created in these last couple of ruffled years with Alice. Words ending in -ie and -eeee and -uppity. Words that are beyond the imagining of an adult human before they have children.
Conversations like this one, in a too-warm dining room with a too-tired little peanut:
Bean: Crayons, mommy? Pease have crayons, mommy?
Whimsy: No, honey. You can't have your crayons right now.
Bean: PEASE?!? CRAYONS PEASE?!?
Whimsy: Sweetheart, no. You wrote on your FACE just a minute ago. No more crayons tonight.
What I come to realize, again and again, when I revisit these moments, is that they are sweet beyond imagining. But sweeter still because there seem to be so many of them. They pile on top of one another and sandwich out those that I haven't taken the time to catalog and save in bottles. It is memory on top of memory and the sweetness can make your teeth ache for its unbearable wonder. It is beauty found in every millisecond I spend with these people who are gracious enough to call me family. The everyday miracle of every day rediscovered with each new morning and each tired-ended day.
I know I don't say it enough, I don't clutch these memories tight enough in my hands to make them stay, but I love my life. I love it. I love it for its peacefulness and its chaos, for the gifts I've been given and those that are still to come. I love it for what it lacks and what I miss in it. I love the trouble, the heartaches, the neck aches. I love the full glasses of milk spilled on the clean kitchen floor. I love the worries, the messes, the monotony. I love the few gifts of graceful peace when I'm teaching something new to Bean or she is teaching me something so very old. I love Chip's scratchy chin kisses and his voice carrying down the hallway. I love every crevice of trouble and every bright moment of joy, because it's mine.
I'm going to excuse myself now. On this Sunday evening as I write this, my two favorite people in all the world are doing chalk drawings in the driveway.
I don't want to miss anything.