In life, there are the big moments–movie climax moments, when the sun is setting and the important music is playing, the music crescendoing, when everything becomes golden and exciting and full of promise–and then there are the small moments, when the background music is the hum of the neighbor’s lawn mower, the feel is the touch of a hand, the knowledge settling that there is hope to be had in the next week, the next day, the next few minutes.
It takes quite a while to understand that we’ve got it all backwards; we’ve let our lesser selves pull a switcheroo. The big moments, truly, are the small ones.
My daughter turned two years old on Friday. This is not a huge deal–toddlers turn two to parents around the world, even parents like my husband and me, every single day. Bigger stuff has happened. This event, instead, was a small moment–of the best kind. We celebrated with friends and family and balloons and cake and sprinklers and hot dogs. We dealt with the after-effects of a sugar high (courtesy of a massive cupcake my husband and I thought would be fun to give our daughter the night of her real birthday) and over-stimulation (courtesy of the crazy backyard waterfest that edged into naptime on the day we threw her party, in addition to a trio of far-too exciting overnight guests: her aunts and cousin).
She is a bundle of energy and emotion and joy and inconsistency and imagination, our daughter. And for the past two years, we have managed to keep her safe, clean and healthy–and, I believe, happy. (Okay, this possibly qualifies as a big deal.) We’re even a little proud of ourselves.
I hope, that in a world full of stimuli insisting that it is only the big moments that matter–the graduations, the big kisses, the rings and the Christmas mornings, bright lights and big city–we’ll be able to teach her about the joy in the small things, the common things, the everyday gifts: the sight of stars, the special letter in the mail, the smile from a stranger, cool water on a sweltering summer day, a face full of cupcake.
That these moments are more than enough.