A friend of mine passed away our freshman year in high-school, and I’ll never forget something his mom said during his memorial service.
She said that Ryan, as a little boy, used to sit on the bathroom counter top and watch her do her make-up and hair each morning, and tell her how pretty she looked. SO simple, but the impact of that memory she shared was deep. I had no idea why of all the things said at that service, that THAT stuck with me. At 13 years old, I just didn’t understand. But I think now as fellow mother, I finally might.
19 years later, and those words frequently echo in my mind. When they do, I think of Ryan and his mom and her loss, and his smile and his gentle personality. Though now, her words mean even more to me. Yes, I have my own little counter-sitting, make-up-applying-watcher, compliment giver. I’ve had three, actually. Each of my boys have enjoyed spending time this way, sharing some quiet time with their mama. And of course, that makes my heart ache because I hear Janet’s words and see her tears as I have looked at my own little guys.
What she shared that day, though, was so much more than what the activity specifically was. It was more so the fact that something so simple, and so routine, and something that so easily could have been brushed aside as an inconvenience in her day was SUCH a big deal to her.
That little snippet of her days with her son was such a big deal to her, a grieving mother, that she felt led to share it with an auditorium full of high school students. It was so big that it was worth sharing after he was gone. It was part of their day, part of his personality, his thoughtfulness, and connection with his mom. I now hear her words as a plea to mothers to not let those little moments we share with our children stay little, but to cherish them and embrace them as the gifts that they are. It is just so true that what may seem so mundane and routine in motherhood now, will be the things we miss the most when our children are grown.
All throughout my day there are things that my boys just always do, that could easily dissolve into the typical beat of our day. When in actuality, those things that they do, that we do together, are the heartbeat of our day and are the things that I never want to forget.
I like to think that my mind will hold onto the details of these moments in our everyday life, but I’ve already realized that isn’t always true. So while I sometimes feel silly for photographing the seemingly ho-hum events of our days, and some people may wonder why I want photos of that, Janet’s words always remind me of why I do it.
Because these little things they do now really are special, and are very much worth remembering, worth documenting, and worth enjoying.