A perfect moment: those times when we’re trudging through the mud and the muck of life, or perhaps just treading across the uneven ground, and we stumble upon a fragment of time when all our troubles fade into the distance and all seems right in our world. You can’t plan a perfect moment, they just sort of creep up on you amid the daily hubbub, sometimes amid a crisis, settling over you like a warm cloud, and in that moment the stars align, clouds part, and you’re able to see life’s blessings with stunning clarity. In my own life, it’s the simplest moments that stand out the most, like being stopped at a traffic light and laughing with my boys as they reenact their school-yard antics, and realizing in that moment how grateful I am to have them; stuck on the tarmac in the blazing Arizona heat with my hubby, crammed in those tight airplane seats, and laughing about laughing at our rotten luck–and what could have been a horrible experience suddenly becomes a perfect moment. Recently I’ve been dealing with some healing issues that have set me back far more than I could have anticipated and while the process has been disappointing and frustrating, it’s also given me some of those perfect moments. As a parent I spoil and praise and dote on my boys every chance I get. My boys are your average long-haired, music-blaring, video gaming, do-I-have-to-take-the-trash-out-NOW? teens, and I see it as my job to keep their days running smoothly, the positive energy flowing, and to do what I can to make their lives generally happy. There’s been days when I’ve wondered if I was teaching them respect and consideration by example, or simply spoiling them. Well, in mid December the whole Mom’s-got-it-covered routine in our lives came to a grinding halt. Not only could I not tend to their needs…I needed them to tend to mine. And my boys amazed me. They were far more helpful and gracious than I could have expected and when days turned into weeks, their patience and positive attitudes didn’t waver. A couple weeks ago when I was about to do more than I should, and one of my boys dropped his game controller and jumped up, saying, “No, mom. I’ll take care of that.” (as they’ve done repeatedly in the past month) My hubby and I looked at each other and captured a perfect moment, when all the work and worry we put into parenting turned to pride, and all was well in my world. Now, my boys aren’t old enough to drive yet, so I’m sure I’ll need moments like these to reflect on during those less-than-perfect moments when I’m shouting something more along the lines of “What were you thinking?!” *g* but such is the balance of life.
As a writer, these are my favorite moments in a book, when the characters are caught up in the action and calamity happening all around, and something happens to take them deeper into that moment, a touch, a look, and without warning, there it is, a perfect moment–and suddenly their burdens are lifted, even if just for those few seconds, they appreciate the beauty of just being there with each other in that moment in time. They often catch me by surprise right along with my characters…just as they do in life. I find some of my favorite books by other authors are defined by those “awww” moments that capture my heart. In Laveryl Spencer’s HUMMINGBIRD, Jessie DuFrayne has come back to town on the eve of Miss Abigail’s wedding day…he’s budged his way into her house, giving Abby no choice but to hear him out. As they sit with their feet propped near the stove and she begins to talk about her wedding plans, their toes touch, their eyes meet, and for a brief moment the rest of the world falls away and there’s nothing left but the rightness of being there in that moment with each other ….*sigh* The moment is quickly snuffed, but it’s those glimmars of hope that keep me turning the pages, and rooting for that happily-ever-after. We know there’s still muck and mud to be treaded…but with plenty of those perfect moments captured in between, the rough patches seem a little lighter.
So, how about y’all? Care to share any perfect moments? How about your favorite character “perfect moment” from a book?