She had one foot on the silver platform of her scooter and the other on the cracked black asphalt where the tree roots had tried to break free. He stood close, looking curiously at what she held in her hand. I'm sure it was some type of insect or plant or other natural treasure that our wooded yard offers. It was the closeness that kept me watching through the blinds, studying them.
My kids are close in age - 17 months apart. It can be messy and it can be glorious.
Because we homeschool, my kids are also physically close most of the time.
That kind of closeness can go a lot of different ways. Unfortunately, much of the time my muscles tense when their personal space gets invaded. I wait for the accidental bump that leads to a push that leads to ugly words that leads to more of a 'shove' that leads to louder, uglier words...maybe you know what I mean. It's the kind of thing that raises my blood pressure in an instant and requires focused deep breathing to maneuver. Those are loud moments and if I'm not careful my mind carries them as the most prevalent, most important moments of our lives,
and they are not.
In between those loud, patience-testing moments there are dozens of other ones that involve mutually agreed upon hand-holding or dancing or snuggling on the couch for a movie - moments like the one I was witnessing in the driveway. But those moments are quiet and if I'm not intentional - they go unnoticed. I can miss them altogether because they are not demanding moments that require my attention. And so I have to choose to see them and soak them in. It's not my natural tendency, but I'm training myself to do something important -
give the quiet moments a megaphone.
If I don't, they may never be heard over all the clamoring noise.
I put away the broom I was using to sweep up dried eggs and scraps of paper. I walked outside to watch them more closely - to offer those moments a megaphone. As I stepped into our carport the promise of Fall sat silently on my skin - dry, cool and clean. It was a foreign air temporarily escaping its seasonal confinement. It rushed in offering a reprieve, a breath of hope and anticipation for things to come. It came quietly and if I hadn't been carrying my mental megaphone I might have missed it too.
What moments will we magnify today?
The ones that demand our attention in angry, abrupt ways? The bickering children, the rude co-worker, the difficult assignment, the frustrating relationship.
Or the ones that come quiet and gentle without all the fanfare? The kind smile, the cool breeze, the silent blossoming, the simple opportunity.
Wouldn't that be something if we could drown out the loud with the soft? I think it's worth a try.