Yesterday the girls and were on our way to their grandparents house just like any other Wednesday when we happened into a “slow mo”ment. The radio was turned up and Mambo # 5 came on. I started dancing as much as my seatbelt would allow, Stevie was doing an incredible little shoulder shrug, and Brenna was “white guyin'” it up with her tongue out and her fingers up. We were all laughing and dancing then boom it became a slow motion moment.
“Slow mo”ments are the parts of a movie where something profound is happening and the film slows down so you can take it all in. Seeing the beautiful girl for the first time, feather flying pillow fights, or the drawn out “Nooooo” as the unthinkable unfolds before a characters eyes.
I’ve been blessed with a great appreciation for the little things and a gift to recognize the moments that make life wonderful or shape its course, not in retrospect, but while they’re happening. I discovered this gift as a child when I wasn’t quite sure what was happening in my own head.
One of my first slow moments occured while playing with a cardboard Smurf town, eating animal crackers and drinking tea with my Grandma Donaghy. Things just slowed down as we dipped crackers into our steaming mugs. My cracker fell in and dissolved and I stirred and stirred trying to find it. Grandma never told me what happened to it; it was years later before I realized on my own that it had melted.
Ten years old in Grandma Kmineks yard I dared Gary (age 4) to jump the neighbors fence. When he scurried back over with his face a mix of terror and elation it happened in slow motion. His face, the bright summer sun, his striped shirt, I see them now as if I’m watching it on television.
A 5th grade trip to the DARE Rally in Philadelphia was the only trip I ever took with one of my parents as a chaperone. My dad singing “Who Stole The Cookie From the Cookie Jar?” in the school bus while crossing the bridge is a slow moment.
My most treasured slow moment happened on an evening in mid September 2000 at the little league field during one of Gary’s football practices. My mom and I were walking toward the field and heard my dad on the sidelines with a cigar calling for a little hustle on the field. Mom and I started making fun and laughing until we were out of breath. I turned to see the evening sun lit her hair from behind and she had the greatest smile on her face. I was struck by how beautiful my own mother was. The moment was recalled frequently at the end of the month when she was gone.
My slow moments have never been “the big ones”. Walking down the aisle happened full speed, but our first breakfast as man and wife at a Shoney’s in Asheville was a slow moment.
Holding her for the first time was standard time, but Brenna’s first midnight feeding was a slow moment.
Stevie’s birth was over in record time, but standing outside the hospital, talking to God, watching leaves swirl to earth while she was in the NICU-slow moment.
I’m glad I have this gift of trapping time in a bottle (though it’s probably why I walk in a room and don’t remember why I’m there) and hope I might inspire some of you to slow the tape down today and enjoy the show.