I’m glad it’s not perfect all the time. If it were, it would be harder to enjoy those little moments and little hours of perfection that sometimes slip by without us even noticing.
For couple of hours the other day, nothing else mattered. Nothing else even existed, really. Just my family, some leaves and a little bit of love.
The defining moment was after taking dozens and dozens of photos, I handed the camera over to Scott and said, “Sometimes you have to be, not just see.”
And to my surprise, he didn’t just put the camera down or hide it for a few days, he actually took some pictures; some good ones too.
And when he wasn’t looking, I looked at him like I probably haven’t looked at him in years. I looked at him like the lovers look at each other in the movies, from across the room, with everything else a blur. I don’t know if Scott has ever looked so handsome to me. The way he was twisting the leaf in his hands and watching his family run about in the leafy park. He looked so content and so peaceful and it made me so truly happy.
My happy day actually began much earlier, when I decided to get something out of the closet and just embrace the past for all that it is and was and not keep it hidden behind closed doors like it didn’t actually happen or like it has to be preserved in plastic until the end of time.
So Zack wore one of the outfits that Uncle Paul had given him years ago when Zack was just a little blob on an ultrasound. And so then we had to put Addie in one of the outfits, too, take some pictures, send them to Aunt Alice and just feel glad that we were remembering that day, even if there was drool and some breakfast On Zack’s Brazil shirt.
The four of us decided to take a walk-the day was perfect – the temperature, the sunshine, all the leaves and that little Autumn breeze.
Two strollers side-by-side, the adults talking about their days and dreams, pointing out cows and colors to the little ones who were taking it in with their wide blue eyes.
And then, near the end of our walk, I saw it — piles and piles and piles of golden leaves just begging for jumping toddlers. And a Momma.
We threw leaves up into the air, we rolled around in them, and sometimes we just laid down and looked up at the sky together. There was spinning around and of course lots of jumping.
And when Scott wasn’t looking, I took Addie out of her stroller and laid her gently into the leaves and just watched her take it all in for the first time… The feel of a crunchy leaf in her tiny fingers and the breeze on her bare feet. Zack handed her a leaf and applauded when she came down to the space on the ground next to him. He gave tickles and even a kiss. Her smiles in return gave it all away. They really have a beautiful love for one another. And I hope we do this often enough that falling leaves and empty parks on neighborhood walks always remind them of that love.
We took so long on that walk that dinner was a little later than usual that night and then, because Momma had to look at all of her photos to see what moments had been captured, bedtime was a little late, too. After all, there was backlighting and bokeh and all sorts of beautiful smiles.
I went to sleep smiling that night, and I think everyone in my family did, too.