And so yesterday during my flight home I thought about my favorite thing from my trip to Los Angeles, though I didn’t have to think very hard to come up with it. Because I already had the feeling, back when this thing occurred, that it would surely end up being my favorite thing.
So, then, here’s my favorite thing from my trip to Los Angeles:
During Tom’s and my visit, my “bed” was my favorite sleeping spot in the house, the ultra-comfortable leather sofa in the living room, while Tom slept on a queen-sized blow-up mattress on the living room floor. Blowing up and deflating the mattress every day proving a chore, we decided to just leave the mattress up for the remainder of our visit.
But the mattress was so big that it took up almost the whole living room, leaving just a narrow space between the two sofas that faced each other from the opposite living room walls.
Makaila loved crawling into the little narrow space between the mattress and one of the sofas, so I placed a couple of soft blankets over the hardwood floor there to make it comfortable for her, and we began calling the space her spot.
One afternoon Makaila crawled into her spot and fell asleep.
An hour or so later I was out in the kitchen cooking dinner. There were several pots on the stove and I was in the midst of sauteeing some vegetables when I heard Makaila rustling in the living room. I left my pots and vegetables on the stove and went into the living room to check on her. When she saw me she put out her arms for me to pick her up, so I picked her up and headed back to kitchen, then held her as I continued stirring my vegetables while explaining to her how I was cooking everything for her dinner. After a few minutes I put her down and thought nothing of the episode.
But then the next afternoon, while Sienna was napping and I was lying down for a moment next to Makaila on the air mattress, she said she wanted me to be cooking.
Thinking she was hungry, though she’d just had lunch, I asked her what she wanted me to cook. She procceded to explain to me, in the round-about, not-immediatelty-understandable way of a 3-year-old that she wanted me to go into the kitchen and put on my apron and start cooking over the stove. She, meanwhile, would lay down in her spot and pretend to sleep. Then she wanted me to come in from the kitchen and pick her up and carry her into the kitchen and hold her while I cooked, just as I’d done the day before. She wanted to recreate the moment as she remembered it.
So, though it was the middle of the afternoon and much too early to start sauteeing fresh vegetables for dinner, I put on my apron, pulled out a bag of mixed vegetables from the freezer and tossed them into a pan of olive oil where they sizzled while Makaila lay in her spot and waited for me come for her. Thus we recreated the previous day’s scene.
Who can say what it is about such a moment that comes along and makes us feel warm and close and happy inside? A moment that we wish we could capture and hold onto and experience all over again?
But in the end all we have left of such a moment is the memory.
Though I’ve only been home for not even a full day I’ve already almost forgotten about the crying, the seemingly endless bed-time rituals of a 14-month-old and a 3-year-old, the herculean challenge of getting anything done around the house or of getting from the house to the car seats, the physical and mental exhaustion of the day-to-day routine. All I can remember now are the moments steeped in joy and delight. And I wish someone would carry me back and recreate for me those lovely moments.