Though the venues, the guest-list, family members, date, time, coveted job title, the actual moment is different for each of us, we all usually have the same few milestones that would be considered the greatest; the most noteworthy or memorable.
But the other Tuesday, while my husband was out of town for business, the morning rolled on like most. Sippy cup pressed between two of my favorite miniature hands, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, playing in the background, vying for attention from the talking Elmos. Gym class up the street, another set of colorful photos snapped of a proud grin, an exposed row of tiny baby teeth, all sent to the grandparents through digital airwaves. Nap number one at the expected time.
It was just one of those days without any hiccups. Free of negotiating the necessity of socks and shoes or a brush through the most beautiful shade of hair I’ve ever seen. Free of wrangling loose a set of car keys, the panic alarm blaring for the third time before noon. Free of a meltdown in the bookstore when I dare to walk up to the register without all thirty-four books that were handed to me, or when I announce that bath-time is over despite the obvious cold water rushing from the faucet. It was just one of those days that ticked by pleasantly slow, allowing me to savor it, to relish in the smoothness of things.
The other Tuesday, I enjoyed a salad at one of my favorite spots. My daughter happily picked at her grilled cheese and side of fruit, mashing it in her right palm, neither of us minding. We colored, we laughed. We made faces in mirrored walls and introduced ourselves to strangers. We weren’t rushing, me after a toddler and her, to get out of the highchair. I had a genuinely good time. I walked out of the familiar red door always wanting to feel that good.
We soaked up every bit of sunlight as if that would prolong the day. Just me and my daughter. But eventually we went home. I remember putting Emma to bed and telling her, although I won’t know for sure if she understood me, that of all the really amazing moments that I am blessed to piece together as my past, that was arguably the best one yet.
I know years from now, I won’t remember all of the details, in part because nothing truly extraordinary happened. But I will look back on it fondly. I will think of that day, possibly the best day, and a smile will creep across my face. I will cherish both the small victory in this place called motherhood and the fact that instants like those are fleeting and oftentimes, forgotten all together.