Capturing the Perfect Moment

PerfectA 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,T&E 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 Couplethat 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 MAVERICK“perfect moment” from a book?

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25 thoughts on “Capturing the Perfect Moment”

  1. A perfect moment for me recently: walking down a bending pathway and there it was, Walden Pond, a place I’ve longed to visit forever, coming into view during a sprinkle of autumn rain.

  2. A perfect moment for me recently- My five year old daughter came to me the other day while I was writing here at the computer and hugged me and kissed my cheek. I pulled her up on my lap and hugged her back and gave her a kiss on the forehead. I asked her what was up with her being all lovey-dovey and she said,

    “I love you so much Mommy. There’s no other mommy in the whole world I’d want to replace you with.”

    I told her I was glad of that, that I loved her too and that I would sure hope she did cause I went through a lot to bring her into this world.

    She smiled up at me, brown eyes all bright and said, “Well, I “have” loved you all my life.”

    It was one of those heart-clutching moments that caused tears to spring up.

  3. “Hummingbird” was one of my all-time favorites,but “Hellion” was my very favorite. I think that’s when I began liking “bad boy” heros. The books are still in my library right with Kathleen Woodwiese “Wolf and the Dove” and “Flame and the Flower”. Perfect situation that cause them to made decisions that effect the rest of their lives; thus, making the perfect hero and heroine shine! Keepers for sure. As a reader, that put me in the perfect moment with them, sharing their love. Wow, think I’ll pull “Hellion” off the shelf and reread it this weekend. Great post! Phyliss

  4. I was just thinking about a perfect moment with my children from years ago…I know what you mean…they come out of nowhere.
    I had taken my three oldest daughters out shopping….always a mistake to take three small children to the mall…exhausting and NOBODY is having fun.
    I took them to a restaurant to eat, does anyone remember Bishops? Maybe they were just around me. So we all four picked our food and sat down, I think my youngest -my REAL youngest wasn’t born yet 🙂 was in a booster seat, the girls were really young, maybe eight, six and three and we sat in that restaurant….ALSO a mistake to take three young children to a restaurant, and for some reason I just refused to be in a hurry that day and I sat there and talked with my little girls and they were so cute and engaged and well-mannered, and full of stories and I was able to just listen to them and laugh with them and they were talking over each other and I was orchestrating it, making them wait their turn to talk, and they were minding me, but still, I made sure they got their turn. I was just struck by how beautiful they were and polite and I was so proud of them, and myself for being able to have so much fun…right in public…with them.
    I still remember that little meal. I lingered with them over it just because it was so fun. I don’t recall a thing else about that day, though…they were propably having slap fights in the Little Girls Department of Penneys a few minutes later and I was back to threatening them that we were going HOME!

  5. Awww…I just LOVE those heart-clutching moments, Taryn 🙂 Five is such a fun age–they are ALL fun…but five is magical 🙂 Give her extra squeazes 😉

    Thanks for posting, Taryn!

  6. Hi Phyliss! I haven’t read HELLION, but I shall have to now 🙂 Those bad boy heroes have the best perfect moments 😉

    Thank you for stopping in, and for the book recommendation!!

  7. No one ever wrote perfect moments like LaVyrle. I think we can all agree on that. And I remember precisely the moment in Hummingbird that you mentioned. There are dozens of moments like that in the one where he builds a livery and she’s engaged to another man–the title escapes me. How about Twice Loved when Rye Dalton and his Laura love are lying in the tall grass and the sun hits the juice from an orange? :::sigh:::

    Taking note of and enjoying special moments for what they are is something I’ve challenged myself to work on. I have one speed: Go. I’m always planning the next move or project, and the constant whirlwind tends to make me miss the pleasure of the moment. But I recognize it, and that means I can work on it.

    Off to seek perfect moments….

  8. Ah Stacey – you wrote such an insightful post today. LaVryle Spencer is one of my favorites. I loved HummingBird, and Twice Loved and Hellion all. I’ve read all of her books more than once because she does characterization sooo well. But your post about your boys hit my heart. Sometimes self-involved, our children step up to the plate when necessary and prove that you’ve done your job parenting them. They are cuties btw!

  9. Don’t feel bad, Phyliss….Cheryl’s post made me realized I’d misspelled LaVyrle! Worse than that…I think I’ve been misspelling it for a while, years even…and just realized it–Eeep!

  10. LOL, Mary! The slap-fights in Penny’s brings back lots of memories for me *g* Your lunch sounds LOVELY…three youngens behaving in public is a beautiful thing, and to be able to set back and appreciate the moment and time spent with them…to really see how fascinating your kids are–truly a perfect moment 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

  11. Oh my gosh, Cheryl…..after reading TWICE LOVED I never saw oranges the same way again 😉 And such a tragic scene follows…my heart constricts everytime I recall the man who believes he’s her rightful husband saying “Do I smell oranges?” Eeep! Wonderful heart-breaking book—I still can’t believe I missed a Spencer book…ordering HELLION off Amazon as I type 🙂

    I keep telling myself I need to journal those moments. Wouldn’t it be great to have a log of all the times life made you stop and go “WOW.”?

    Wishing you oodles and oodles of “Perfect Moments”, Cheryl!!

  12. Stacey, loved your post today! Seems like the smallest things make the most perfect moments that create an indelible mark in our memories. I’m totally taken with Linda Lael Miller’s books and she’s written some of the best perfect moments. Like in “The Man From Stone Creek” when Sam is in his tub taking a bath in the schoolhouse and Maddie barges in all fit to be tied because her little brother learned to swear and play poker. She realizes he’s naked and almost dies. He nonchalantly reminds her that she’s an unmarried woman and he’s an unmarried man and here he’s taking a bath and there she is watching him. It was a perfect moment.

    Then, in her book titled, “A Wanted Man.” Rowdy and Lark share a late night cup of coffee in the landlady’s kitchen. She’s barefoot and in her gown and it’s freezing. He kneels down and takes her feet in his hands and warms them. Just a perfect moment in the story.

    Thanks for sharing some of your perfect moments with us. Your boys are young men who’ll treat their wives like queens all because of you. I hope you have many more perfect moments. 🙂

  13. <p>Hi Linda! I loved both those scenes of LL Miller’s 🙂 I loved how Sam felt the cold wind working its way up through the floorboards, putting a chill in his bath water…not that it helped 😉 And that foot-warming scene…yep–perfection 🙂 My all-time fave book of hers is ONE WISH–there’s a wonderful bath moment in that book as well and the descriptions are hysterical–but one of my fave perfect moments (there are many) is when Luke has been beaten to a bloody pulp, and Charity finds him and takes him into the tree house. While trying to sooth him she places his hand over her breast…and while her heart flutters, poor Luke doesn’t know which is worse…the beating he’d endured or the intimate coddling of this passionate virgin, of which he is in no condition to ruin 😉 </p>
    <p>Thank you so much for posting! I sure hope my boys will grow up to treat their wives like queens :)</p>

  14. Stacey, I’d forgotten those scenes in “One Wish.” Yep, I loved that book off LLM’s too. Luke was the ultimate wounded hero. I almost died when he left the heroine to marry the other guy and rode off. That was a gut-wrenching scene. One Wish was a special book.

  15. A perfect moment for me in your book, Maverick Wild, was when Chance stopped Cora mae’s mother from taking her the first time and Cora confessed everything she was hiding to Chance. i especially like how he believed everything she said and then took her side to protect her. It was an awesome book with tons of great moments but that one always stuck in my mind as something really special.

  16. As I was preparing to begin typing a response to
    this post, my telephone rang. One of my special
    moments was on the line! My 6 year-old grandson,
    Mason, was calling to share his good news with me.
    He had just gotten home with his straight-A report
    card and he was so excited! I expect to receive several more of these calls as the rest of my
    school-attending grandchildren get home. These are
    among the many reasons why my heart is constantly
    in a “melted marshmallow” state. A call from one of my “babies,” ending with an “I love you, Grandma,” and I”m set for life!!

    Pat Cochran

  17. Luke was a great one, Linda 🙂 I loved his confidence, the way he bathed with his hat on *lol*, and didn’t rush unless bullets were flying 😉 And yeah, my heart broke when he rode off…still thinking he was unworthy 🙁 When he rides into that wedding…his horse jumping the fence…..*sigh* 🙂

  18. Oh WOW, Caitlin…you just gave ME a perfect moment 🙂 THANK YOU!!!!!

    I loved that moment too…when all their fears materialized right there in front of them, and Chance gave her the protection she’d gone seeking. I’m so glad that moment stood out for you 🙂

  19. Give those boys a huge hug and tell them they are WONDERFUL! I too have experienced perfect moments when life came to a screeching halt and I just drew a deep breath and relished an instant of perfection. It’s one thing when a newborns first smile reaches your heart (oh, but do I remember that!) or when the child you thought would never read suddenly opens a book and amazes you with a story you’d be happy to hear over and over. But when an author can create a perfect moment, that’s talent. I’ve found perfect moments in each Stacey Kayne book. I look forward to many more breathless reads!

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