Monday, November 3, 2014

Magic Moments

Today had two magic moments in it. Magic moments are the unexpected events that can’t be planned or even hoped for, they are moments of true and meaningful connection with others. They are spontaneous as a rule. Magic moments are treasures, and even if they seem unimportant to anyone else, they are the small memories that burn bright in your heart all your life and never lose their warmth.

Today I saw Luke when he and Noni came to visit Grace and me at the hospital as a surprise for my birthday. It was so much fun to play with him. But it was later over the phone that my magic moment with him happened. I asked him if he ate dinner and he said he had soup. I asked him if it was yummy and he said, “it not yummy. It hot.” He’s only just learning descriptions and to hear him come up with that on his own was so precious to me. I have a feeling I’ll smile for the rest of my life whenever I eat soup, thinking about my Luke sharing details of his life with me.

I had another magic moment today, this one with Grace. But in able to share the magic, I have to contrast today with yesterday. Yesterday was our third day being inpatient at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. I was so distraught. I was so worried about Grace, the most I’ve been in months. She was so clearly miserable, so tired, so sad. She was on every laxative known to man trying to dissolve a blockage that was causing her considerable pain and caused vomiting after every meal. I felt so helpless. She wasn’t talking at all, only using thumbs up or thumbs down to tell us how she felt. She took a four hour nap and when we took her down to the playground she only watched Luke from a chair while wrapped in a blanket and cried. It was a hard day for all of us.

But today Grace started talking again. By the afternoon she had eaten a little chicken broth and had some lemonade and it cheered her up so much that she was even smiling and sitting up again. I think her tummy was finally starting to feel better from the laxatives working. By dinner time she was allowed to eat a banana and crackers. She was so happy, she told me today was the best day ever. Later I took her to the bathroom knowing we’d be there for some time. So we started singing silly songs as we waited.

“Willa-bee-walla-bee-woo, an elephant sat on you. Willa-bee-walla-bee-wee, an elephant sat on me,” the songs goes. I’d sing about the elephant sitting on the “pospital" and she’d finish the song with him sitting on the hospital. Our elephant sat on the bed, in the sink, on the nurse, on the doctor, getting shots, driving home, snuggling in bed and then we ran out of rhymes. She was laughing the whole time and it was so wonderful to see her enjoying life again. Her smile was so bright and so genuine and I was so glad to be part of it. 

I would have never imagined moments on the phone and on the potty could become treasured memories. But it does seem that often it’s the little nothings that come to be the most important and most lasting in life. The big moments are special too, but they don’t always seem to shape us the way the small but frequent memories do. And small moments have a special way of squeezing down into the smallest crevices of our heart, like a seed where they slowly stretch our hearts bigger and deeper as they take root and grow.

Those special connections are full of magic, but only if you can catch them. Having two magic moments in one day with my children was the best birthday present I could ask for.

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