Lockdown is practically a distant memory now. We have fallen back into the rhythms of school and work and seeing each other briefly, grumpily in the mornings. Hectically, a bit less stressed in the evenings. But homework and bath time and egging both kids to do what they need to can turn that evening quality time into a quagmire.
Then there is usually one moment (if I am lucky more than one!) where I pause on purpose or in spite of myself and say, this is the good part of my day. I try to find that moment and hold onto it, even if I have to turn back to the computer for lesson prep or some other admin task once the kids are in bed. Even if I have left pots and pans in the sink (every day!) and must just avoid eye contact with that area of the kitchen as I dash in for a yogurt after dinner. I try to keep that takeaway moment with me even into the next day, when I am back at work longing for the next reunion with the kids and family time.
It becomes that little nugget that keeps me going.
Sometimes it is a very short moment. Sometimes it is a photo that I can look back on during the workaday week and remember.
Sometimes it is a moment I am not even participating in fully but just watching between my children or my husband and one of the kids.
Here are some examples:
When my oldest reads my youngest a bedtime story and the put their heads so close together.
When my youngest comes into my lap first thing in the morning and takes a strand of my hair.
When my daughter says something so very American that makes me realize, hey, I have done a decent job at making her bilingual!
When, miracle of miracles, there is a moment of silence at dinner because everyone thinks my simmered pork is tasty.
When I drop my pre-schooler off at school early and he sees the moon in the sky and points it out excitedly.
When a student tells me they enjoyed our lesson.
When a friend sends me a joke or silly GIF on my photo and we both think it is just so funny!
When my US family and I go off on some private joke or crazy idea that makes me smile at my screen.
When the cat comes right smack on the middle of my lap and my fleece blanket when I have settled down on the couch.
When my husband and I talk about new ideas for the garden (and we actually agree!).
When said husband comes into the living room with ice cream cones for us both.
When I catch the sky looking particularly lovely.
And I often say in my head, there's your moment. And it might not keep all the stress and anxiety at bay. It may not stay with me eternally but if I string all those moments together, it makes for a pretty good life. Perhaps we won't remember all the years that pass, but it's those little moments that will sparkle and glimmer back at us when we are older.
What are your moments? How do you "keep" them?