Sunday, May 08, 2011

It's moment like these...

Greetings and Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there, especially the inimitable DW.

Easter was a couple of weeks ago and the usual build up of excitement permeated the house. Little Man was much more into it this year, egged on (so to speak) by Princess. I am quite certain that neither of them really appreciate the actual reason we celebrate Easter but at least Princess can recite some stuff she learned during CRE at school. I'd like to share one thing that happened during this Easter period with the two kids.

We visited DW's parents for Easter, as we usually do. After the Easter Egg hunt and the consumption of too many of the discovered chocolate eggs, we headed off to mass at the local church. Princess has been doing religion classes for a while now and has a bit of an idea of what goes on during mass, but Little Man can be a bit of a terror. Because of this DW and I tag team to try to alternatively entertain him and minimize the disruption he is causing during the service. Anyway, this particular Easter Mass, they ceremony involved giving each and every person a lighted candle (more like a taper but you get the idea). To make matters even more frightening, the kids were to go up to the alter to light their candle from the big Pascal candle, and then share their flame with the rest of the congregation.

To say I was apprehensive is to understate the panic I was feeling. I felt like someone on the deck of the Titanic being told that a little bit of water never hurt anyone. But against my better judgment, I sent the little guy forth with his candle like a monkey holding Harry Potter's wand. And boy, was he keen. Church no longer seemed boring - someone was actually going to let him play with fire! He didn't need asking twice.

Well, he was gone and my only hope as Princess stepped past me was to whisper, "look after Little Man." She nodded and disappeared into the throng of bustling children. Neither of our kids are particularly tall so they were out of sight in seconds.

Kids started emerging from the throng with their little candles lit, carefully trying to keep that flame alight, most often having to return for a second attempt. I still couldn't see Princess or Little Man yet but there wasn't any screaming or sudden burst of flames, so that was something. After what seemed like nearly two minutes but was actually only a bit over a minute and a half, the crowd of children dispersed and there, like something on one of those ridiculously cute Christmas cards, were Princess and Little Man, standing together in front of the Pascal Candle with their little candles lit, holding hands.

Little Man was both excited and scared, but he was clearly happy to have his big sister there to look after him. Princess was confident and careful, and also proud as punch to be looking after her little brother. Its very hard to describe just how that moment made me feel. I didn't have a camera with me and I wouldn't have had time to catch the shot unless I had the camera up and ready. But in this case, I don't need a camera. The image of my two beautiful children sharing a moment together, both supporting each other without an ounce of self-serving, is something that has etched itself in my mind. Even if that image fades, the knowledge that it existed, even if only for that moment...

When I say I can't describe how it made, and still makes, me feel, I mean it. All the words I could use would be like describing the most beautiful place on Earth with only map coordinates. All I can say is that I hope every person gets to experience a moment like that once in their life. I am extremely fortunate. I get moments like that, perhaps not always as perfect, more than just occasionally. No matter how crazy the kids make me, its moments like these that make me feel like the luckiest person on the planet.


Thought for the Day: The future may be inevitable, but don't worry, it doesn't start until tomorrow.