An Exceptional Day

I really was there clinging to every transient moment just like that bee; desperate to suck every last drop from the day. And, it was an exceptional day.

A bee shouldn’t be able to fly and it certainly shouldn’t be able to hang off a delicate butter-yellow flower with petals as thin as silk. But I found this one yesterday evening, clinging to this little cup while it swayed in the breeze, determined to suck up every drop of nectar,

There was nothing particularly special about yesterday, but it was an exceptional day; the weather was balmy, we ate supper out in the garden, and my sons made me laugh till I was helpless with tears.

They are these gorgeous human beings, whose company I love. They are taller than me now, and have done more to shape who I am than I imagined when they were born.

I know it is the best job in the world, and I am so happy I’ve made an effort to be here every day with them. But, I wonder if I really spent enough time in those moments with them? Was I there, really there, or was I busy getting stuff done?

We looked out at the garden together as we ate and drank and joked. We remembered the hours sat in the tree on a plank of wood lodged between branches that we imagined actually was a tree house. We shook our head at the memories of the pirates that fought the seas from the climbing-frame. And I sighed over the plants that had to die at the hands of little dinosaur-hunters.

I remember my father building a tent from plant canes and sarongs with them when they were 2 and 6, and I served a picnic. I wish I could remember what the sandwiches and apples tasted like, I wish I could remember what we talked about, and I really wish I could remember going in to look at them sleeping that night.

Now they are old enough to watch the same movies I like, they are always showing me their favorite links on the Internet. They are not afraid of disagreeing with me; they call me out when I’m unfair. They think for themselves in utterly surprising ways, they are funnier than I am, and sometimes, just sometimes, I need them more than they need me now.

Yesterday, looking at them, I couldn’t believe how fast it has gone.

I know it’s the refrain of all parents but it doesn’t make it less true. I hope I can always taste the burnt chorizo from the first barbeque they cooked. I hope I will always remember the facial expressions as they bounced off each other in banter. I hope I can hear exactly what their voices sounded like saying, “I love you” as they went to sleep.

Already those memories are fading, but I really was there clinging to every transient moment just like that bee; desperate to suck every last drop from the day. And, it was an exceptional day.