On the wall in our family room there is a saying: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Now, I’m not one to fall for sappy sentiments (really!), but this one is special to me, and it’s kind of become my motto. A challenge, if you will, to stuff the goodness of living into every day, to make it a habit, which is actually a pretty cool way to walk through life.
Every day we have the opportunity to make a memory, with our children, with our spouse, and with our friends. Every day, there is beauty, if only we stop to look for it.
There is beauty in children – and friends’ children – doing the most mundane activities together, like setting up battles with playmobil castles or watching a little Super Why while their mamas rest. (Look at that little hand! Instant friends, I tell you!)
There is beauty in teaching children about caring for pets, even if their pets are only guppies that swim to and fro in their tank, among the plants and their own little castle or Eiffel Tower. When my three-year-old woke me up yesterday with the news that his blue guppy was sick, the concern in his voice melted my heart, and we went to check him out (okay, after just ten more minutes. It was still dark outside, people!). As it turned out, the fish wasn’t sick, but injured, and that prompted a trip to the fish store after preschool, our first venture outside in a week, and the purchase of four more girl guppies so the boys wouldn’t fight over the girls so much. (That will totally be an object lesson when they’re older.)
There is beauty in introducing little ones to new ideas, new activities, and new creatures – in seizing opportunities as they arise. I was blessed to be able to do this last week, when @Canape visited me and we went over to @Stimey’s for a little while, to see friends and to play Wii. Baby Colin and I were admiring the mice, and Stimey asked if we wanted to hold one. Did we ever! And from that moment, a memory was born, of brave Baby Colin reaching out to pet his first little bitty creature (check out the concentration on his face, and the determination in that little bitty pointer finger!), of a friend encouraging us in exploration, and of me holding Canape’s baby boy, introducing him to something new in his world. Oh, the memory that we made that day is precious indeed.
And one more memory that I treasure today – the friends who have come by to visit me during my illness, grabbing an easy chair and sharing their latest, talking and quietly keeping me company, which is quickly becoming a highlight of my week. How often do we get to sit and talk – really talk – with a friend for a half hour? Not nearly often enough. The friends who have come to visit me while I’m down are friends indeed, and as I move forward through this battle and the rest of my life (link goes to a survivor story I liked today), I will keep those memories in my heart, and remember how friends gave of their time, their precious, oversubscribed mommy time, to help a friend who was ill and tired of being alone in the house.
Thank you for sharing your stories and your experiences, Susan. I cannot being to express how much they mean to me.
That’s so sweet of you to say. Thank you.
I can’t get the thought out of my head, that little guppy lovin his home singing to himself–just keep swimming, just keep swimming.
I’m so glad your scientific training of observation is serving you well to see all the beautiful moments.
sending lots of gentle hugs
I just like to say “guppies.”
I visit you in my heart, dear.
… and here, and I am so grateful for your friendship! I never mean to complain — you all have sustained me here for so long — it’s just nice to reinforce that with a friendly face “in person” now and then.
I WILL be strong enough to get out again soon, though, so it’s not necessary! I will.
I’m still out here… still reading. Still rooting for you, every step of the way.
Right this minute, I’m “virtually” drawing up an armchair and keeping you company.
Thinking of you, as always. Blessings to you and yours–
Do I ever! And I even remember that thing we talked about, so long ago. Still good?
Smiling at you in your virtual armchair, right here in front of the Christmas tree in my living room.
What an appropriate time to have posted about kids and wonder. I was looking for a “home planetarium” and I wondered if you had a recommendation. I am a lurker and an admirer of yours. I wish I could say that cancer hasnt been so apparent in my life. Peace be with you.
Ooh, cool! I saw a really neat one on Discovery Kids recently – here’s a link: http://store.discovery.com/?v=discovery_toys-games_type_space-flight-toys
Thanks for your words — and I’m sorry for the losses that you’ve suffered from this disease as well.
True friends are golden, and bring true joy. I’m so glad you are surrounded by yours – both physically and here in blogworld. May your moments of joy be frequent and lasting, and bring you and those around you peace and healing.
So sweet! Sweeter even than the TIM TAMS that I found at our local pharmacy on Monday! I sure can see why you guys in AU and NZ like them so much — we enjoyed them and talked about our far-away friends!
The guppy story was great! As is your motto. It is true that there can be many precious moments in a day, yet often — when all is going well, as far as the big things are concerned — we don’t even notice, we take them for granted. I will try to be more mindful. Thanks for sharing and take care, Susan.
Mindful living – I tried to practice it before, and now it’s even easier without all the distractions of the everyday. It’s actually a beautiful way to live, if you can take the time to think about the day.
I LOVE that photo of you and Baby Colin. This is such a great post. Those moments are the memories, and like you say, they don’t have to be big moments, just good ones.
Honestly, it is such a joy to spend time with you. Even when you hurt and you’re tired, you have a light in you that spreads to those around you. You’re a wonderful person and I’m so glad to be able to hang out with you.