I laid in bed next to Aiden, handed him his stuffed animal dog, and turned off the light. Through the faint glow of the nightlight I watched him pick up the dog and turn it to look at me.
“Daddy, what are you doing?”
Putting Aiden to bed, I replied.
“What did we do today?”
I went over a few things.
“What is the roof doing?”
Keeping us warm.
“What is mommy doing?”
Hanging out with Carter.
This went on for ten more questions from the dog interrogating me about various parts of the day. Then I had to ask Aiden questions from the dog in return. I was amazed at the creativity he’d developed in three years of life. As he drifted off to sleep, I thought of the rest of the day.
Our time with Carter wasn’t as peaceful. Val and I both think we’ve turned a possible corner with some of his temper issues. Tonight he decided to take a shower and, by the time we made it up to the bathroom, he had soaked the floor. With our recent floor damage problems, Val and I were both upset.
I watched his face twist into sorrow and anger at why we were mad. He said it was my fault he got in trouble as the first parent on scene. Voices increased in volume and we found ourselves in the classic parent/child standoff.
Life is made of small moments. They tell you to grasp them and not waste any. They tell you to track what you do with them and journal your progress. You are supposed to “make the most of it.”
What if the moments are painful? They pile up like cards houses into a sum that can be beautiful or blown over with a slight wind. You tell yourself that you are strong and ready. You map out a strategy and believe it will work.
Then you’re back at square one.
The pile rebuilds. Beauty emerges as you wait for the wind to blow and cringe the moment it dances across the back of your neck. You rebuild and rebuild and rebuild until one day the pile isn’t yours to claim anymore and you pray you’ve done your best. Until then it is one small moment at a time.