Perhaps one of the biggest rewards a parent receives from a toddler is seeing his smile and witnessing him experience a truly liminal moment. A moment when he’s completely fulfilled through climbing, building, digging, pouring or running.
When time briefly stands still.
Being a witness to this perfect peace makes me realize that Tucker has provided us with a priceless lesson. One that won’t be found in a parenting book, in the pediatrician’s office, in a mom’s group or in a developmental milestones worry list. That lesson is that all of us need to allow ourselves to abandon our deadlines, our worries, our inconsequential mind blabber and simply live in the moment.
Stop time for a just short while and relish the look of your three-year old child’s hands playing in the sand or in the water. Marvel at how much larger his hands already are than when he was a tiny dependent newborn. Marvel also that one day, his hands will be larger than yours and will hold his own tiny son’s head in a palm.
In an effort to capture these fleeting moments, I take thousands of photographs. Some are blurry, some beautiful, silly or candid. I hope that one day, while looking at an old photo, I also remember how time stopped for an hour. I hope I’ll remember what the air felt like on my face, the exact pitch of Tucker’s giggle, and the genuine contentment in my heart. The actual feeling of perfect memories is hard to hold on to. But I’m going to try.
This weekend, my purpose has been to not worry about when we’ll get to the grocery store, when we need to bring in all the outdoor toys for the upcoming cold weather, and whether I should go ahead and weed the garden now. Because all of those things will get done. What won’t get done, unless I allow myself to allow it, is to spend a few timeless moments when I simply absorb the perfection that my son – and that life – is.