The Small and the Mundane

It is the small and the mundane that undo me.

It is the shade of my son’s eyes, hazel and bright, as he rambles excitedly on about an upcoming field trip or summer camp.

It is the smallness of my daughter’s hand when I place a cracker in her palm, her fingers tiny but her grasp tight.

It is the lightness that is evident across my husband’s shoulders when he walks through the door, his spent energy renewed at the sight of a boy and a girl tearing across the kitchen floor, dropping whatever it was they were doing to bask in their father’s attention.

It is the faintest dusting of freckles across my son’s nose that grows deeper as the sun grows hotter.

It is the scent of sunscreen and sweat that fills the car as we drive home from a play date at the park, my daughter too exhausted to make it the three miles home awake.

It is the Saturdays when I can be selfish with my family, hoarding them from work and school and a thousand other commitments, hiding beneath the covers until a hunger for pancakes drives us out of bed.

It is the small and the mundane that undo me, because I am caught off-guard, waiting for the milestones and the benchmarks, the moments for when I make sure my camera is charged and ready, the bright color-coded entries in our family calendar that brightly and colorfully remind me how my children are growing.

But then I am sucker punched in the heart, and I am quite certain my ribcage is about to explode, just because my son leaned into the front of the car to kiss me unexpectedly before darting out and joining his friends as they march into school, or because my busy, busy toddler took a moment from her life of growing independence to crawl into my lap and lay her head on my chest.

It is the small and the mundane that I am unprepared for, and because I am unprepared for it, this love seems that much larger.



Filed under Parenting

10 responses to “The Small and the Mundane

  1. YES! I just had a moment like this over the weekend… really too sappy to relate. But it was awesome 😀 Word.

  2. First of all, pancakes are a big deal.

    Secondly, when you write about your children, you’re miraculous.

  3. Marianne

    While putting a puzzle together, my four year old leaned his head on my shoulder, and I thought: this is it!

  4. Running from Hell with El

    Aw, wow. Gorgeous piece of writing here. And I completely get what you’re saying. I LOVED the penultimate paragraph the most. It reminds me of my own children, and the precious moments I spend with them.

  5. It is writing like this that undoes me. It makes me wonder what I’m doing putting my thoughts out there–when there is beauty such as this in the blogosphere…

  6. Ricky Anderson

    The fact that you record these memories makes them not that small and not that mundane.

  7. Gooooooosebumps. I love you, JButt.

  8. Great thoughts that resonant here – “…sucker punched in the heart…” is the best line I’ve read in weeks. Thanks for sharing this profound post!

  9. Very awesome, Jessica. I’m not a parent yet, but this makes me look forward to the day that I am.

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