November 23, 2010

Perfect Moments

Yours truly at three years old, playing with my little sister.
There are a moments I can recall from my childhood that were truly perfect.  Not perfect in that everything was right with the world, nobody fought and everyone was treated with respect- they were perfect in their pure childish contentment.  I have many memories of being a perfectly happy child.

Back when SI and DD were just chubby little babies.
The one that I've been coming back to over and over again these last few days is also one of my earliest memories.  I was probably three years old, and my parents had gone out for the evening.  As the babysitter began to make noise that it was bedtime, I pretended to fall asleep on a nice, comfy bit of living room furniture.  I lay there, dozing off and on, waiting for my parents to come home.

I remember squinting up at the ceiling lights.  I was playing with my eyes, enjoying how by squinting more I could turn the lights into white lines across my vision.  This was an activitiy I enjoyed so much, it became my regular sleepless entertainment for over a decade.

One of the first sleepless nights.
I was laying in the living room, peacefully watching the lines grow and shrink, when I heard the front door open just a few feet away.

The grown ups spoke softly to each other for a few moments, and then the best part came.  My father, who believed I was asleep, gently lifted me up and rested my head against his shoulder.  He carefully began carrying me up the stairs to my attic bedroom, and as the rhythm of the stairs rocked me, I fell asleep.

The fact is, children fall asleep and need to be carried to bed.  This happens on a fairly regular basis.  I always had an idea of what it would be like to be on the other end- to carefully lift my child into my arms, and bring them up to bed.

Brand new grublings.
On Friday night, M and I took the girls to have dinner out in the 'burbs with a friend of ours and her family.  The girls were well behaved in the restaurant, and fell completely asleep on the hour long drive home.  When we arrived, M and I didn't discuss the procedure.  We each carefully unstrapped a sleeping toddler from the car seats, lifted them into our arms, and carried them up to our third floor walk-up.

The whole time, I could feel DD's breath against my shoulder.  I was so aware of her sleeping, of how relaxed and trusting she was.  I couldn't help myself from looking behind me to grin at M.  Each time, there he was- grinning back at me.  We both had the same silly silent grins on, as if we were saying, "Look at us!  We're REAL parents now!"

We got the girls out of their coats and hats and shoes, and into bed.  They never woke.

I know that they're too young to have any meaningful memory of this, the first time their parents carried them as children up to bed.  I know they won't remember that for them, this might have been one of those perfect moments.  For me though, it will always remain in my memory as vivid as my own childhood.  It was a beautiful moment in the all too fast passage of my daughters' childhood.

It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

Perfect moments.


  1. And this is a truly beautiful post. Aww.

  2. absolutely beautiful! As a parent of teens, I know exactly what you mean by that perfect moment of carrying your child,although for me it now seems so long ago. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post on Tuesdays Gone at Life Music Laughter

  3. So beautiful! I have moments like this with my own daughter. One of them happened last night when I helped her host her first tea party. It was such a special moment for me. Thanks for sharing!

    I'm a new follower from the "Tuesdays Gone" blog hop!



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