Monday, January 12, 2009

Quiet Moments

Not too long ago Giselle wrote a post that included some musings on the terribly boring home videos that first time parents take. We don't actually have too many of those of Harper, mostly because we didn't have a very easy to use video camera. In 2007 I got a video camera for my birthday, I have mentioned once or ten times that I'm still figuring it out, but (editing aside) it is really easy to whip out and film things on a whim.

Today I took what may be the world's most boring video of Michael (unless you're his grandparent), but it captured some rare moments. When Harper was a baby it often felt like I had nothing but time to spend with her. Sure, I failed to get most anything else accomplished, but I was free to lay around and stare at her fascinating baby self all day long. With Michael, of course, things are completely different. Even the quiet moments I manage to sneak with him are colored by the fact that our family cannot revolve solely around his schedule and I often have one eye on the clocking thinking about feeding/clothing/dropping off/picking up/ or entertaining my other child.

This afternoon the schedules got flip-flopped a bit, Michael's morning nap (which is often nonexistent, btw) stretched into the afternoon so that Harper was "napping" by the time he was ready for lunch. I was able to do what I so rarely have the pleasure of these days and just linger over his lunch, and stay at the table playing and talking with him. I could watch him forever, this one, and I pulled out the camera to document those big beautiful eyes in the afternoon light, the way his fingers explored the spoon, the way his feet wiggled and tapped with happiness, how intently he can concentrate on something, how he always has at least a hint of a smile for me, and, yes, even the extreme drool situation we are currently experiencing.

There's very little action in the 90 second clip, but it's a movie I could watch again and again. (Confession: I do watch the clips I post, over and over, I'm fascinated by my children - which is as it should be. I'm also totally annoyed by my own voice, but there's nothing I can do about that.)


I took Harper to gymnastics tonight, and was feeling very hurry-up about getting her in bed once we got home (gymnastics nights run about 15 minutes later than what I'd consider ideal). In all my grumping and rushing I disturbed Michael, who'd been trying to fall asleep. So I ushered Harper into bed, and then went into Michael's room to snuggle him in the rocking chair for a moment or two.

So I was all nestled in, with my fleecy warm baby a pleasant weight against my chest, enjoying the dark and quiet, when Harper tiptoed in and said, "Mom, I hardly saw Michael at all today." Which was true enough (see afore mentioned flip-flopping schedules).

Relaxing the bedtime regulations, I let her come over and give Michael a kiss and a hug. He immediately picked his head up and grinned at her. Then he leaned back against my chest, but, instead of putting his thumb back in his mouth, he reached out to hold Harper's hand.

We shared the dark and quiet for a bit, the three of us, Harper occasionally reaching out ever so gently to pat Michael's back or kiss his cheek. And I thought, "Yes. This. More of this please. More calm and fleecy warm children and rocking chairs in the quiet. More peace."

By tomorrow those quiet minutes will probably be far from my children's minds, but I think I'll hold on to them for a while.

Edited to add: The song in the background of that video is, "Whole Other World," from Right Outta Nowhere by Christine Kane - one of my absolute favorite artists.


bluedaisy said...

Oh, this is so sweet...I wish you many more of those moments to come-especially when it's so chilly outside!

Anonymous said...

boring? that is, hands down, one of the best videos ever! and i love the background music too...

my mom says being a Nana is great because she can enjoy these types of quiet moments *all* the time. so, so lucky.


Giselle said...

Oh! I am tearing up over here. So so sweet. These are the best kinds of moments...I love siblings being sweet together.

Chris said...

I treasure moments like those...when it is just me and the baby, or when the kids rush in to see the little one...we'll be really missing those 20 years from now!

Emily said...

yes! More of this, please! We all need to slow down and appreciate these moments. I watch videos like this of Katy, and I was so high strung at the time that I don't think I enjoyed them as I should have. This time I'm appreciating them as you described. Glad you've had a few.

Mommy Daisy said...

Aww, so so sweet!

tracy said...

Oh, Kels, I love this.

We have already had a few very dear moments between Ruth & Martha. Ruth likes to kiss her head, pat her (she requests, "pat ear?", "pat other ear?", "pat eyeball?"), and show her baby toys (exclaiming "look Martha!"). Siblings are neat.

Erin said...

Beautiful. I love this post. I love the video. Michael is so perfect and such a wonder to me, that such a tiny little newborn has grown, so quickly, into that sturdy, handsome baby.

Also, I love hearing your voice.

Pam said...

You paint a wonderful picture of the 3 of you. Those moments make everything in the world right don't they?
I confess i didn't watch the video yet - but I will I promise!!

Hillary or Ryan said...

I am crying right now. I don't think I've ever loved anything as much as being a mother (not even being a camp counselor or a teacher). Your post sums up the reasons why I love being a mother. Kelsey--you are amazing!

samantha jo campen said...

Wow. I'm TOTALLY crying.

Those moments are beautiful.

CARRIE said...

Precious moment. I wish I could cling to moments like this...replay them instantly in my mind whenever I want.