Friday, September 4, 2015

Sometimes It's the Little Things

“Monday morning, you sure look fine.” ~ Fleetwood Mac, from the song "Monday Morning."

It didn’t seem that way when I first got up.  It felt like I had slept all of sixty minutes when my alarm went off and even after I pulled myself out of bed after twenty minutes of hitting snooze my eyelids still felt glued shut.  I stumbled into the kitchen where I started my coffee and began fixing Connor his customary grits and milk.  He, as always, was in a great mood, even at six in the morning.  And so, as I stood there fixing up our morning routines, I heard him say, “Wow!  Look at the stars!”

I squinted even more that I already had been in the too-bright kitchen light and came around the counter to where he was standing, just on the edge of the dining room and saw what he was in awe of.  Sure enough, a single star still sparkled in the dim royal blue of the dawn sky.  I knelt beside him, my hand on his little shoulder and just before I could say how beautiful it was, he said, “It’s pretty!  I like the stars!” 

I agreed and told him I did, too, to which he automatically started singing, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” 

What a beautiful start it was to an otherwise mundane Monday.  These little moments have continued each morning since.  It has become a little tradition for Connor and me.  We both immediately go to the dining room, look out the far window and find what we have started referring to as our star.  I think it might be the Evening Star.  I’m not sure, but it doesn’t really matter.  It’s like it’s our moment, his and mine, there, waiting for us to share each morning to start our day in a quiet, lovely way.  Sometimes it’s the little moments that can turn a whole day around, even before it begins.  And even if the rest of the day doesn’t go so well, we still have that one moment to look back, to remember, and to smile to when we do.

That’s true with stories sometimes.  I remember once Jennifer Lopez talking about the film Gigli.  She conceded it wasn’t a good film, was honest about it, but also said that even through that, there were still some good moments.  I agree there were a couple, though they couldn’t save the film entirely.  I happened to consider that, though, as I re-watched a little-known Patrick Swayze film he did with his wife about fifteen years ago.  It was called One Last Dance.  Overall, the film was pretty good, just not great.  But there were moments that stand out still in my mind, like when Patrick Swayze and his wife’s characters (Travis and Chrissa, respectively) are standing on a city street watching a violinist play and they quietly smile at one another, or the look another character gets as he listens to Chrissa tell the story of how she discovered her love of dance, or when Travis talks to a little girl about the wonderful imaginary things you can do and be as a dancer.  I smile when I think about these moments and how, even though they didn’t quite add up to make a great film, they’re still something special, something worth revisiting, just like the little star in my and Connor’s mornings.  

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