“We were together. I forget the rest.” (Walt Whitman)
You never know that the most special moments of your life are special. The moments you think are going to be the special ones…they’re never as big as you make them out to be in your head. The best moments of your life are the ones you almost blink right past. They are so small and simple and brief that they seem more like a passing thought than a memory worth cherishing.
But those moments—the ones you don’t even think to slow down during and cherish or take a picture of—are the ones you find yourself smiling about randomly in the middle of the day. They’re the moments you wake up to in the middle of the night and can’t stop thinking about. They are the moments you wish afterwards you had a photograph of, but ultimately know that the photograph of it painted on your heart is so much better. Those moments are the truly glorious moments of our life.
This morning my alarm startled me awake at 6:45 a.m. I let myself sleep an extra 15 minutes and I lay in bed knowing it would be a push to get to work on time because of that decision. Sound asleep on my chest with her arms dangling at my sides was my 15-pound, 7-month old baby girl. Just inches away was the rather rotund rump of my chocolate lab. And to my right, my husband lay breathing through congested nostrils from a cold he’d been fighting off all week.
After carefully sliding my daughter off my chest and onto the open space next to us in bed, I managed to get up without disturbing anyone. As I pulled my robe on and begin shuffling towards the bathroom, a tiny sliver of light slipping through the top of the window curtains spotlighted the scene in front of me.
Jumbled together beautifully in our king-sized bed, was my whole world: my husband of five years, the tiny human who made me a mother, and the dog who is my very best friend. It was a comical sight and instantly reminded me of the scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory of Charlie’s four grandparents all laying together in the same giant bed. It certainly was a crowded bed and one that most people would shake their heads at. But for me, it was the crowded nature of my bed in that moment that made me pause for a few seconds and just smile.
In that crowded bed was the fulfillment of so many hopes and dreams…some I distinctly recall praying for in the darker and lonelier moments of my life…and some that I think only God alone knew that I needed.
Those three precious souls in my bed have shaped my life in irreversible ways. They have challenged me, inspired me, loved me, and saved me. In a world full of so many uncertainties and so much darkness, they have grounded me, turned me towards the light, and shifted my focus.
I used to worry about so many things in my life and the lives of those around me. But now I just get up in the morning and look at my crowded bed and I know that those three lives are all that really matter. Everything else is just noise. If I have their presence and love in my life, I know that all the other details and chaos will be sorted out eventually.