I don't really want time to stand still. I would go crazy, I think, if I had to be forever parenting a 7yr. old commander in chief, a 4 yr. old jumping bean with no volume control and a 9 month old who can't sleep alone. But there are moments when I wish time would just stand still, just a bit. Just so I could breathe the moment a little longer. So I could memorize every crinkle in their smile or every hair out of place. So later, when I'm 80 and actually have a chance to catch my breath, I can recall perfectly the smudge of dirt on their face or the sound of their voice at 4 or how once it was discovered that she could roll her r's, she did it constantly for a week.
Today, I was overcome with such a moment. And it was a nothing moment. An average, everyday moment. Willa and I were waiting for the school bus. And she was stomping around the snow in the front yard and she stopped and looked at me. I was actually in the process of telling her not to get snowy before school, when I saw her little face. She had on that silly hat that suits her so well and the pink sun glasses which she insists on wearing almost everyday and remarkably, has not lost, and the purple coat that always needs washing, and her candy-cane pants. And I wanted to freeze her just there. Just that way with that expression on her face. I wanted to be able to pull it out of my mental images of her a month from now, a year from now, even 10 yrs. from now and examine every detail of her. I want to remember her rolling her r's, her endless chatting, her abundant kindness, her intense desire for snuggling close. I want to be able to carry this one memory of her in my pocket, like a lucky penney.
Time kept moving, of course, without my permission, and in another moment she was on the bus and headed to school. And I wouldn't want it any other way but am crushed at the same time by the unfairness of it.