One Thousand Gifts

Oh, the craziness of this week! The dreaded 5 AM alarm and a dark drive to my son’s driver’s ed class was the beginning bracket of each day.  There was writing at the coffee shop waiting for Daniel to be done with class, with a return home just as the sun was peeking over the mountains behind our house.  Then breakfast, dishes, homeschooling with half a dozen or so children moving from task to task, needing math help and a listening ear for reading and occasional reminders to treat each other kindly.

After lunch, a drive back into town to drop my son off for driver’s ed (actual driving practice this time).  From there we head straight to play practice, which for little kids ends at 6.  Driving home I’ll see the sunset. A couple hours at home, and then time to collect the bigger kids who won’t get home til after 9. By that time dark night has again decended, and I rejoice that I can soon trundle off to bed.

It is Missoula Children’s theater here this week, you see, a delight that makes my children’s eyes sparkle with joy each year.  One frenetic week of practice culminates in two Saturday shows, by the end of which I am a limp noodle, and my van’s gas tank has been emptied at least once. Worth it?  Oh yes.

But this evening, driving my youngest home, with still one more trip into town later for older ones, I am bone weary.  I am looking forward to Saturday, and certain this is a worthwhile sacrifice of my time for all my children learn and experience.  But the pace of this week has worn me into the ground.

And then I think of some of the words from Ann’s lovely book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.  It came in the mail earlier this week and that I’ve been nibbling at it in odd moments for a couple days now.  The words?

“I don’t really want more time, I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh….”

And the voice of my little girl in the back seat of the van comes suddenly loud and crisp in my ears and I tune in, really  tune in to the high clear animated sound of her.

“…I like the song we’re learning and at the end we get to make a pose, but we can’t lie down on the floor…”

“…and she looks really scary when she makes that face, but she’s just acting.  She’s actually nice…”

“…and we have to bring a lunch that doesn’t make a mess, otherwise we’ll get the floor dirty, and we have to bring water, not koolaid….”

Her sweet chatter goes for miles and I listen and respond in the right places.  I marvel one minute at her grown-up sounding sentences and another minute I am clutching a mispronounced baby-word to my heart, wondering if this is possibly the very last time she said that word like that.

And this is it, I know.  The very best bit of my day.  And it is partly because my precious one is sharing her experience with me,  but more because I am really tuned in, not rushing in my head on to the next thing.  And I am thankful for the words of Ann, reminding me to slow down and see the gifts all around me.  Thanks, Ann, for helping me see what is best in my life.

~~~~

If you would like to win a copy of Ann’s lovely book, will you do something for me?  Will you pay extra attention to your life today, and come back at the end of today or perhaps on Sunday or Monday to share a meaningful moment with us? An ordinary time, fully appreciated?

I’ll pick one winner on Tuesday.  I look forward to hearing about the good in your life.

{ 64 Comments }

  1. I have read about this book on a bunch of blogs–I love the title. It is interesting that she writes about not wanting more time, but time to… I am reading a book titled “168 hours-You Have More Time Than You Think.” The author reminds us that we all have the same 168 hours in a week. She challenges us to keep a log for a week of how we spend our time (a real eye-opener for me). She tells stories of many women who seem to do it all, and one in particular really struck me. In essence, this women puts things into 3 categories: nurturing her family, nurturing her business, nuturing herself. If something does not fit into one of those, she doesn’t do it. For me, when I remind myself that mopping my kitchen floor really nurtures my family, I don’t seem to mind it too much. When I look at my job as nurturing my career and my paycheck as nuturing my family, I have a much better attitude. I think sometimes it is all in how we look at things.

  2. We took the family out to dinner tonight. Not something we often do but spending that time together laughing and eating and playing games was so precious. I spent time texting my son on his new phone having a silly conversation that proves that just because he is 16, and just because he is a daddy’s boy through and through he still loves his mama. It was a wonderful night.

  3. My ordinary time, fully appreciated……My mother’s helper, age ten and homeschooled, was over one day. As we cleaned the house and did some baking while my toddler was napping, she told me stories about her family. She told me about running with her dad and how she’d get up early to make him breakfast before work because everyone else in her family likes to sleep in. She told me about her funny memories of camping with her dad and uncles and cousins every summer, and how their boy smells would permeate the tent. All this was shared as we’re just doing life together. I loved it that day simply because she was letting me in on her heart, letting me a little closer, letting me get to know her dad (our home group leader) in a way our usual interaction didn’t include. I appreciated that moment just because I enjoyed her presence. But today I appreciate it even more because today was the day we said goodbye to her daddy. He met Jesus face to face a few weeks ago in a terrible accident that took his life in put my mother’s helper in a body cast. And suddenly, all those little moments she shared of snippets of her life with him weren’t merely stories anymore. They were treasures. I am so glad we had those ordinary moments so many months ago, for today they mean so much more.

  4. just got this book on kindle. Starting my own nibbling of it in spare moments…

  5. My baby is turning one year old on Monday. Yesterday, I rushed around all day, cooking, baking a couple cakes and cupcakes, cleaning like crazy for family. It was a “good” busy because it was very productive but late in the evening I looked at my little guy playing and thought that even though this was in celebration of HIS birthday, I spent less time playing with him than usual.

    So, this morning after sleeping in a bit, he nursed in my big bed instead of the rocker as usual. We haven’t done this in so long and it’s just more relaxed and peaceful. We lingered under the covers for about half an hour. Today is a great day.

  6. It’s a bitter cold Saturday morning here in Wisconsin and I already know what I’ve witnessed this week is special.

    My 14-year-old freshman daughter is quite gifted in many areas. She’s literally 14 going on 35.

    On Monday she learned that she is the lead in this year’s high school musical, Beauty and the Beast; on Tuesday she tried out for our city’s prestigious youth symphony and made first chair violin; she took eight comprehensive high school final exams and aced each one — giving her straight As in all eight classes (without a study hall).

    Today she has been asked to usher at our local university’s cabaret performances and to play saxophone in their pit orchestra. Tomorrow she will acolyte, read, and play violin at church and cheer on her five-year-old nephew at his first wrestling match.

    This morning she curled up with me on the couch laid her head on my lap and told me how much she enjoys being with me and her dad in the quiet of our country home. She lamented and truly felt bad about her friends who did not make it into the musical or the symphony, and mentioned how sorry she feels for her friends who don’t have parents who support them and their endeavors.

    This morning I witnessed my little girl’s hand in mine, her long hair fanned out across my lap, and I listened to her wise words. As I did so, I realized she’s my baby who is becoming the kind of young woman I’ve wished for, and that I’m proud to call my own. I’m happy to share her with the world.

    What a wonderful moment it was that I’ll cherish forever.

  7. What a beautiful post, Mary! I will do my best today to take a moment and enjoy my 5 angels, maybe even their daddy too! 😉 Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Thanks Mary for an (as always meaningful) post My moment happened late last night – I live about 2 hours away from my family -Sister took Mom to the doctor yesterday and the doctor put Mom on “early Alzheimers” medication. Sister and I have seen obvious differences in Mom in past few years that had us concerned .

    I have no children – but DH is facing serious medical issues this year (surgery and then long term disability )

    In my late night discussion with my sister last night – I expressed concern that so much is falling on my sisters shoulders – she validated that I was where God intended me to be and that she appreciated my efforts on behalf of Mom and my concern for her(sister’s wellbeing ) in the journey we are beginning with Moms well being

  9. My little boy was sitting next to me and hugging and kissing me while I was teaching another. My little girl was laughing and playing her silly bands with me while she sat on my lap. My oldest daughter has been very excited all day that we are going to officially start sewing class because the book, See to Sew, came in the mail yesterday. My oldest son asked me if he could learn, too.

  10. ….spent a half hour after my little one was asleep….still holding him….still rocking him….just listening to him breath and feeling the love!

  11. I’ve spent the last 9 days cooped up at home with a 10.5 month old who has a mild case of pneumonia. The round the clock medications and whining, crying inconsolably, not being able to get him to sleep unless he was curled up in a sweaty ball on top of me, was really wearing me down. This morning, he was playing at my feet, and suddenly climbed into my lap, looked me straight in the eye, and gave me a big, slobbery, snot-filled kiss right on the lips. That messy kiss along with the huge cat-who-ate-the-canary grin he gave me afterwards made every hard moment of the past 9 days worth it, and then some.

  12. Mary,

    Thank you for that beautiful post…It really melted my heart…as we walk through the days hoping that our children will never change, dreading when they start saying that word right…etc
    This week was a tough one for us…as my oldest struggled walking, wasn’t eating…made a trip down to Children’s to find it was an arthritis flare and he has lost 14 pounds in 6 months…which took me back to when he got sick…and I think…I am very thankful for this boy and God’s hand on his life. Two days at Children’s were not my plan…but God knows and He directs the steps and among the flurry of activity that fills the hours of our lives, we find we can make all the room needed for something really important….and amidst all the doctor/hospital things I got to spend two days with a remarkable young man…

  13. afamilieslove says:

    I love the idea of this book, and have heard great things about it. I blogged about this today, taking in the moments, finding the small moments, monumental, and how they are fleeting, and how precious they all are, and how wonderful my hubby is at capturing them, I struggle in this area, always running on ahead, planning, I need to slow down and enjoy the moments more, thanks for the reminder.

  14. My 12 year old son was playing outside today and “found” a rock on a neighbor’s property. He was coming home with it when the neighbor yelled at him and dragged him home for us to discipline. (I’m still a little emotional about the neighbor’s offensive attitude.) When we talked to Mason about property lines, and the pretty rocks needing to stay where they belonged (he’s special needs and sometimes things don’t compute in his brain) he didn’t explode or act hateful, but manfully went to the neighbor’s house, returned the rock and appologized. He looked the neighbor in the eye, shook his hand and admitted his mistake. Times like this I feel thankful for a son with a heart and a God who does not leave us hopeless.

  15. Today my two boys, 5 and 3, were doing a painting project. The little one was so into it, he painted for an hour and a half! I’ve never seen him do any activity that long. He was so into it, he said he wanted to make 20 paintings. So darling. I’m hoping the pictures I took of him painting will help me remember.

  16. Jessica Y says:

    I just watched my 3rd daughter playing in her new birthday tutu and her little Polly Pockets. Savoring her childhood. I played Uno with my 4 year old who thinks he knows how to play. 🙂 With my oldest, my attitude was always, “I can’t wait until she starts…” and not appreciating her stage now. I want to remember to not rush them to nap time every day. I have the book, so if I win, I will pass it to my sister.

  17. It’s my usual Saturday afternoon, sitting at dance class while my kids do ballet. Drive them there, sit on the other side of the glass and wait for it to be over so I can take them home. Only, today is different. Today, I’m watching my 13 year old son dance. Really watching him. So graceful, so slender, so serious, so teachable. It’s a wonderful, beautiful thing. And it’s only the occasional goofy face he flashes as me when our eyes me that is keeping me from crying today. 🙂

  18. Time stretches long for me today. It’s snowy and so cold, we are mostly in. The oldest two are away at college. Youngest is enjoying a day of all “free time” (as opposed to a school day).
    The place my husband works has found upper management was cooking the books (and keeping some for himself). They thought they were doing fine. They are really deeply in debt because of this. Today they discovered that the secretary was also involved. There will be massive cuts to try and save some part. There are new discoveries daily. Everyone is suspect. No one knows if they will have a job. Or if they will want to continue working with what is left. But it was such a good place. And good people. We are devastated. I have health problems. This job has health insurance.
    I am sure we are ultimately in God’s hands, but I am not sure I like the path. I am watching my husband be so positive. He’s doing his best work, not dropping into his pity closet like I have been doing. I am so blessed by him!

  19. Hi Mary,

    I love to read Ann’s writing on her blog…she always makes me a bit weepy and melancholy because she writes so poignantly.

    Today was a deep cleaning January Saturday as we prepare for an 11 year old Korean boy to come live with us for three months. Somehow, I always fool myself into thinking that I can get our home “bare” enough that another person added to the ten who already live here will not add any clutter to the house! We are looking forward to his company but I was stressing myself out a bit and battling perfectionism as I organized.

    Then, our sixth child came in the door with his new tennis shoes. He was long overdue for new shoes (had been wearing his church shoes to play outside)and looked happy.

    He only just turned 13 but is 5 feet 9 inches tall and wears a size 9 shoe! He’s big and gawky and always cheerful and when he came in the door with his new shoes he did a little dance just like he did when he was five years old and used to believe new shoes did something special to his feet. I looked at the big awkward teen aged boy and saw the “boy”…it was a special moment.

  20. Yesterday morning I was snuggling my baby sleep, and while I usually pop her straight down, I took a few minutes to look, really look at her upturned nose, her eyes crinkled shut, her mouth, peaceful in sleep, body relaxed. I sniffed her sweet head and held her close, drinking her in, holding a memory in my heart. I wish we could bottle these moments.

  21. Emily Baer says:

    The joy & life my 3 young children possess… the love for their father and one another. Their willingness to play out in the cold just because the other is still out there, dreaming wildly, giggling, running, riding bikes. Scooping up the infant and having him sleep on me for a handful of minutes while i secretly wished it were more, nuzzling up in his soft, sweet neck. Playing games, eating, worshiping, talking, reading… and now being beckoned for a good night hug. I am so truly blessed beyond measure and see it even more because of the beautiful women like you, tuning in with me and pointing it out with love… Thanks Ann, thanks to you all. <3

  22. Meaningful moment #10,003…my adult son is struggling with some tough things right now. It is difficult to watch him in pain, but he is talking to me and remaining open, and I know that He Who Is is in charge.

    That’s what has been filling my moments and my prayers for the past week. And within the confusion, I keep reminding myself what my husband’s aunt said once…”He doesn’t ask us to understand, He asks us to trust. There is the meaning.

  23. As I think about today’s meaningful moments, I start appreciating (and noticing) a lot of moments that would have just gone unnoticed if I had not made a point to “observe”. My 1yr old girl is learning how to walk, but ends up crawling most of the time…my 2yr old girl starts helping and encouraging the little one to walk, but then end up “crawl racing” with little sister up and down the hall. They had the best time laughing and chasing each other. I can still hear the laughs!

  24. The mail came. I went to the mailbox. Only two thin envelopes. No One Thousand Gifts. Two hours later, doorbell rings. It is the mailman! And he brought me my book One Thousand Gifts!

  25. Ha! I had to laugh at the ‘ordinary time, fully appreciated’ comment… it’s why I named my blog Ordinary Time, to remind me that that is what is important. Anyway, to answer your question. I spent the afternoon canning marmelade with my 15yo son. It was wonderful to spend the time with him in the kitchen, not saying much, but enjoying each other’s company.

  26. What a wonderful post! My most meaningful moment today was watching my 10 year old daughter play 2 basketball games. She made 2 baskets in the second game and got some rebounds. It is so amazing watching children learn new skills and try new things! I was very proud of her today.

  27. This afternoon, watching one 6 year old daughter offer to be the “left-hand” for my other 6 year old daughter who has CP. She was playing Wii and couldn’t make her left hand work enough to run the nunchuk……..they were awesome playing side by side!

  28. Hi Mary,
    I have an off-subject comment. . .Your latest post just reached my inbox as I’m sitting at my kitchen island, with your book, my laptop, my price book (which I had already started a few months ago, actually, but need to add to), and my grocery list. I am so excited to implement many of your strategies, and am pleased to see that I was already doing many of them.
    On a side note, my kids thought the picture of your family was neat, and were fascinated with your diverse family. Thanks for sharing your family with us!

  29. Oh I got one! We ran an errand to Hobby Lobby today and had our 8yo son with us. While he and his dad were up front waiting for me to check out I hear a loud WHAMCRASH!! And my son is on the floor on top of a busted tv tray that he decided to sit on (he thought it was a chair).

    He busted it to the floor.

    Why was this so funny? I have no idea but his sister and I were rolling on the floor. And there was no way I could even be mad at him. This sort of thing just only seems to happen to kids his age. And soon he’ll be too big to ever mistake a tray for a chair. I guess you had to be there…but it WAS funny.

    Somehow the Hobby Lobby lady didn’t think it was funny though.

  30. I was feeling sick on Friday night (a rare occurence for me) and was lying on the couch when it was time for my 5 children’s bedtime. One by one they came down the stairs, being led by my youngest, who is two. They each gave me a kiss, with my 5 year old kissing me, saying, “A kiss for you to get better, Mommy.”

  31. Kimberly Chance says:

    I am struggling with resentment. There, I said it. I don’t want to be resentful, but I feel like I have been thrown into the deep end of the pool without a float. Too many things on my plate, too little time and the heavy burden of caregiving for my in-laws while still having children at home. They call us the sandwich generation and I think the word is fitting. Today, as I struggled to help my mother in law wash her hair, I saw, just for a moment that she recognized me. She looked up into my eyes and I saw a glimpse of the 12 year old girl trapped inside an 84 year old body. And I broke. That was a little moment that reminded me that this life that I am living now is good and right and even holy. It is hard, but my God is able to strengthen my week arms and it is in the moments that He provides strength for the journey.

  32. This post reminded me of a blog post I recently did here:

    http://abailey423.blogspot.com/2010/11/growing-up.html

    Today was my oldest sons sixth birthday party. I can’t believe he’s six. Next Saturday my baby girl will be one. Time is flying. Today, everyone in the house was asleep except for me. I was busy decorating a cake to look like Yoda. And my sweet brand new six year old came up the steps from his room and saw the unfinished cake I was working on and said, “Is THAT for ME???” and I said yes and he said, “OH THANK YOU MOMMY!!!!!!!” And it didn’t matter at all that I hadn’t been to sleep. It was all worth it. And he climbed in the chair beside me and we chatted away while I decorated and we had amazing one on one time together, something I had been longing for as I slowly watch him get bigger and bigger. And the party was a great success, but that thirty minutes of just him and I? THAT was priceless!!!!!

  33. What a wonderful post to read this morning–especially with the extra motivation to savor the day with my little ones! And I always find Ann Voskamp’s writing moving!

    With three girls 4 and under, every day has sweet parts that I fail to appreciate b/c of the busyness (or “crisis”) of the moment. But with a purpose to pay attention to the ordinary times, I noticed too many to share!

    My first favorite was during a reading time that my husband was having with the two older girls. I was also sitting and reading nearby. Our 15-month-old found a board book, climbed up in a big rocking chair, and read/jabbered while she rocked.

    And then at bedtime, my three-year-old-in-a-week came out bewildered about how she could have “lost” a buttonhole. “It’s missing!” she kept saying–and she was glad for Mom’s help to find it way up above the other buttoned buttons and even let me rebutton some of them before she finished the last two with the found buttonholes.

  34. My ‘moment’ has been a weekend with a house guest. Alex is from Uganda, and is staying with us for a few days while trying to make connections in our town. It has been a true joy listening to the stories of his homeland. God is moving mightily in Uganda, and it is a privilege to hear how Christians there are experiencing God. Things are so different outside America – in many ways that I will probably never understand. But the one thing that connects our souls to theirs is the unifying blood of Christ. What a beautiful reminder this has been to us this weekend!

  35. If you liked this book, which we all did; you will probably enjoy reading ‘Choosing Civility by Dr. P. M. Forni. It is a book that changed the way I interact with people and helped remind me to be careful with my words and actions.

  36. On Saturday, we had lunch with a couple from our church who have been surrogate parents for us as we live across the country from our bio families. We were sharing the news that the possibility is great that we’re moving to TX for at least a year for work. The father-figure, a wonderful servant of the Lord, is famous for his stories, “And that reminds me of a story,” words that send us all into gales of laughter because, of course it does. He shared with me the importance of being content, no matter where God calls you, to never look back with regret, to spend the time where you are LIVING where you are. I summed it up for him, “So, wherever you are, BE fully right there?” “Yep.” I have learned the secret of being content…

  37. Today during the worship service as I held my 4 year old, I glanced back to the rocking chairs at the back of the sanctuary. The sight melted my heart and caused me to praise God for his blessing and mercy on me. My 12 year old was peacefully rocking my almost one year old to sleep. I thanked God for the man my son would be one day as he loved on that baby. How beautiful and how thankful I am for the gift of family and moments like these that warm the soul.

  38. I’m so grateful for this challenge, I need it daily. My Mother just passed on to eternity, so living in the right now is easier for a while. But I know that reality will set back in and I don’t want to go back to pushing away, being to busy and always saying no. Immediately upon reading this post I got up to tuck my 5 year old in for a nap. I usually hurry through wanting to get to the others that need attendance, and the quiet time for me beyond. But at your prompting I lingered. I laid down with her and held her in my arms. I listened to her voice with my head on her chest. I could smell the ice cream on her breath. She pulled a lock of my hair through her fingers and said, “Your hair is getting white in the brown. I like it. I think it’s pretty.” She looked deeply into my eyes and described their color to me and loved on me in her special way. I miss it most of the time being annoyed that she won’t settle down and just go to sleep – glad I didn’t miss it today. Thanks.

  39. Stephanie says:

    My 14-year-old left his music behind today and realized it as we were walking up to church. He was sorely disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to play, but brought his guitar in anyhow to protect it from the cold. The worship leader, hearing his dilemma, said, “Well, you’re here, aren’t you?” So he got to play after all. Seeing him up there singing and playing–mouth full of braces, hands full of guitar, heart full of praise to God and joy to be doing his favorite thing–did my heart good.

  40. This afternoon I took a nap. At the end of the nap, one of my sons came to snuggle in the bed. He’s going through a difficult transition because we just adopted another son that is only 5 weeks younger than him. He has been feeling the tug-of-war going on emotionally between his older brother and younger brother, something that is overwhelming for a boy who has just turned 7 yrs old. Our ceiling is plastered and I sometimes imagine seeing pictures there. As we snuggled, my son and I looked at the ceiling to see what we could find. This time, in addition to the horse, the elf’s face, the fish, and the cheetah head, we saw a hippo with a sword, a volcano, a dragon swimming in the water, and dinosaur eggs. He can hardly stay still for very long so the 10 minutes we were snuggling was a treasure for me. I felt very connected to him in a way that’s been hard in recent weeks as we have been trying to work through the various issues that come with adding an older child to the family. It was just what I needed, and I hope it was what he needed.

  41. My gifts this week are very easy to count, some weeks not so much. But this week is what I am clinging to… My son, 4 years old, came home from the hospital on Friday. He had been there for about three weeks with what began as a virus. I am thankful that he is able to breathe, and breathe, and breathe, over and over, by himself, like it should be. My son, whom we adopted about a year and a half ago, was shaken at four months. This abuse left him a quadriplegic, unable to walk or talk. He would throw tantrms most of the day. He used every ounce of energy and ability that he had to scream. He’s very different now, mostly unresponsive. He’s had a pretty large stroke, he now has a tracheostomy. He is very different. He is still mine. He still has value. I am still responsible for his soul. He is alive. He has survived once again. So like I said, this week, it’s easy to be thankful. It’s the kind of gratitude that comes from fear, and hurt, and worry,and then being relieved. Relief that comes not from the absence of these horrible things, but from knowing that whatever comes, our Lord will take care of us, and we will be ALLright 🙂

  42. Christin Harrison says:

    My favorites were today and both came from our sweet 9 year old. She leaned over during worship and commented about Heather, who was singing on stage, “Mama, Heather is serious about her worship today!” That was here was of sawing that Heather was doing a great job, but it reminded me of how we need to take seriously our responsibility in worship. She also keeps reminding me that when we sin, “we depart from God.” That was in her lesson today, and she keeps reminding me how she never wants to depart from God. Oh how I pray that she never does.

  43. My baby girl(2 1/2), who is adopted from Africa, saying to her friend as she points at me, “That’s my mom.” It is like music to my ears!!

  44. Today, my 11 year old daughter and I put primer on her walls together so that we can re-paint her room. We listened to worship songs together and I didn’t even get onto her when we got paint on the drop cloth. It was a very enjoyable afternoon together. 🙂

  45. I am a busy mom with five kids. Each day is challenging, fun, full of noise…but I absolutely love my life. The most ordinary thing would be when my sweet three year old son, Judah says to me, “I want to tell you something.” And he will whisper a breathy, non-understandable something in my ear…then kisses my arm and runs away. I know soon, these moments will go away.

  46. My 11-year-old son stopped this morning while getting ready for school and held out his arms for a hug. He is usually too busy for such sentimental moments, but any time he slows down enough for love — I am ready and willing to dole it out in abundance. The embrace of a wiry whirlwind is a priceless treasure in the busyness of this mama’s day.

  47. In the midst of a busy weekend, my little one insisted we’d have a picnic.
    To my surprise, everyone stopped what they were doing, and joined her on the blanket she put on the floor to share her picnic of fruit and veggies.
    What a delight!

  48. I had my niece Elaina over for a few hours while my sister had an appointment. Elaina is 5. I was busy in the bedroom cleaning off the dresser and in my own little world. She was on the bed watching Finding Nemo. I was actually talking quitely to myself about this and that and what needed to be done still. Suddenly I hear giggling. Precious, innocent, makes-your-heart-melt giggling. She was laughing at the movie. I so needed that. I stopped what I was doing, sat down and just watched her. She caught me looking at her, smiled, and then went back to watching. About every 5 minutes or so, she would laugh. I couldn’t even see the tv. I was just enjoying watching her and wishing for just an instant that my 16 and 17 year old daughters were 5 again…..

  49. an ordinary moment savored…my littlest one, 17 months…hugging me long and holding me tight. I dug my head into his little body and breathed deeply, wanting to remember always. Bliss.

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