When Matthew and I first got together, we had one mix CD that we listened to over and over. I don’t remember half the songs that were on it, but I do remember this one:
I remember this one, because every time it played I stopped singing along with Matthew and just…watched him. Every time. I sat in the passenger seat and watched him sing – the way his whole face lit up as he sang, the way he smiled to himself, the way his breath moved his body. I took a moment to really look at him and let all of the love I felt for him surge through me.
When Xander was a tiny baby, he used to nurse to sleep and snooze for hours a day on my lap. I spent a lot of time on the sofa with his warm weight on my crossed legs. Sometimes I would watch TV or read or listen to an audiobook…but sometimes I would just sit and look at him. I would look at this tiny curled fingers, at the adorable pucker of his lips and how they phantom-nursed the air as he slept, at the rise and fall of his tiny chest. And as I looked, I felt how much I loved him – so much it hurt. He lit up my world.
Time passed, and I sort of…forgot…about taking time to truly see my family this way. I caught myself taking them for granted, not taking time to be fully present with them. But when I started slowing down…I found myself seeing more and more. Like the other evening, watching Xander watch the Lion King on my lap – absent-mindedly sucking on a finger and staring wide-eyed at Simba on the screen. Like the other night, as Matthew and I read to Xander (Matthew did the voices) – Matthew didn’t know I was looking, but I was. And it filled my heart to the brim.
When I stop my usual bustle of thoughts and to-do lists and take a moment to gaze at the people I love, they touch my heart in new ways. I remember how much they mean to me. I feel how much I love them – feel it physically as well as emotionally. It’s such a simple thing…and it’s so important. I hope I can always remember that.