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  • This Minute

    June 10, 2008

    The other night, after the last book had been read and the prayers had been said, I lay in Sean’s teeny tiny bed with him thinking about all the things in my life at which I am failing. So many things need attention and remain undone.  I was anxious for him to fall asleep so I could get up and pretend to attend to some of those things.


    In between yawns, he gave expression to stray and disconnected thoughts, but eventually rolled over on his side with his back to me and fell silent.


    As I lay there in the half dark, trying not to think of laundry and impatiently waiting for a sign that he was asleep, I looked at the curve of his small delicate spine.  I marveled over what a complex and beautiful thing the spine is and all that it does, things I don’t fully understand.  I traced my finger lightly over each bump.  I prayed that it would continue to grow strong and straight and that it would last him a life time. I prayed that he would be eager to use it to serve others.


    Just then he stirred and turned towards me.


    Rats! He was almost asleep.


    But then, he reached up and molded the side of my face with his hand.  With sleepy eyes, he searched all over my face, as though he had a question.


    In a quiet raspy voice, he said, “I like this minute.”


    “You like this minute?” I asked.


    “Yeah,” he said.  This minute, right now, laying here with you.”


    “Oh me too Sean,” I sighed, “I like this minute very much. There’s no place else I’d rather be.”


    In that moment, I was reminded I had waited my entire life for just this minute. The laundry and other undone things that would distract me from this minute, they will wait.  But this minute — it will not come again.


    And then he rolled over and slipped off to sleep.


    Oh Sean.  Indeed, this minute, right here, right now. It’s exactly where I’m supposed to be. Not before. Not beyond.  But right here in this minute.


    I watched him sleep for a while longer and then I got up and went to my own bed where I fell asleep counting blessings instead of failings.




    1. Jessie says:

      And yet another post to make me cry my eyes out. 🙂 With baby on the way, it doesn’t take much! Thanks for the sweet sentiments.

      June 10th, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    2. Jeni says:

      What a nice post. I’ve been struggling in my mommy-with-toddler phase with taking joy in the journey – sounds like Sean helped you with that.

      June 10th, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    3. Sarah S. says:

      Thank you for sharing such a precious minute with us. I need a minute like that — I shall go and make one…

      June 10th, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    4. Kelley says:

      I needed to hear that right this minute. Thanks for sharing…

      June 10th, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    5. Gwen says:

      Dear AM,

      We co-sleep with Carter (3 1/2 yo), and I’ve had many moments like this. In the near darkness of the bedroom, he and I have conversations about all kinds of things such as what lives in a forest and about planets and stars. I enjoy this time but sometimes I find myself thinking about what else I need to do or just wishing for some quiet. Then I remember, I had years of quiet and thought that’s all I would have until I unexpectedly became pregnant. Mornings are nice too. Carter takes a while to really wake up and until then he likes to snuggle. There’s nothing like that little face, still quiet, but big eyes searching your face. Then I smile at him and I get a big smile in return.

      June 10th, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    6. Yvie says:

      This entry brought me to tears. This is so beautiful…
      I love it when it’s bedtime, when my baby would just smile at me, bat his lashes and kiss me. Amidst of everydays goings-on, I’d rather be in that place when everything is calm and I’m not distracted by anything.

      June 10th, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    7. Carrie says:

      Oh, what a great post! I’m in tears as usual, and you’ve inspired me to make the most of every minute with my baby boy!!! Thanks! 🙂

      June 10th, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    8. carrie-the gremlin wrangler says:

      I desperately want to shut my mind off lately in order to live in the moment like that. I guess it takes wise words from a little one to get us to that place sometimes.

      June 10th, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    9. Betty G. says:

      How did he get so wise at 4 years old?

      Betty in Oklahoma

      June 10th, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    10. Becoming Me says:

      Beautiful. A wonderful reminder to treasure those sweet minutes.

      June 10th, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    11. Kathy says:

      Oh AM. This minute. Indeed.

      June 10th, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    12. Brighton says:

      I loved this minute too. Thanks : )

      June 10th, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    13. womaninawindow says:

      That’s it, isn’t it, this moment and every one after this. Makes me feel a little guilty for not giving my kids more patience while tucking them in tonight. Thanks, I’m gonna go up and give them a little extra kiss.

      June 10th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    14. Renna says:

      Isn’t it amazing how much our children teach ‘us’?

      June 10th, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    15. Susan says:

      Oh, I’m bawling. He’s as beautiful as you are.

      June 10th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    16. apathy lounge says:

      It’s a struggle to stay in the moment, but that one was worth waiting for.

      June 10th, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    17. A&EMom says:

      Oooo, that just made my mommy heart tingle.

      June 10th, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    18. Jane says:

      I love those aha moments! Like when my baby 14-mo-old smiled at me as I was putting her to bed, said “mum”, pulled my head down for a kiss on the lips, and then rolled over and went to sleep, smile still on her face. Makes everything else so worth it!

      June 10th, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    19. knittingmother says:


      Well said. Thank you.

      June 10th, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    20. Marian says:

      How wonderfully sweet.

      June 10th, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    21. Arleen says:

      Your post reminded me of a poem my mother stitched for me when my boys were very young. I was always thinking of what had to get done in my home and how I wanted everything in its place; the poem served as sage advice.

      Although my sons are grown now, these words really helped me to understand over the years how quickly time passes and how there’s no way to recapture “now” once it’s gone. Here’s the poem:

      “Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow
      For babies grow up, we learn to our sorrow
      So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep
      I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”
      ~Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

      June 10th, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    22. Amanda says:

      You have a very wise little boy… it never fails to amaze me. Such simple things come from his mouth, yet they mean so much!!! He is already changing the WORLD! He has changed mine today.

      June 10th, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    23. Kelly @ Love Well says:


      Reminds me of Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “Cinderella.”

      June 10th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    24. Nett says:

      Perfect. Good for you, Mommy. You got it right! This minute is really all we have.
      Someone said….”Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present.”
      I need to put into practice more gift appreciation.

      June 10th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    25. qfmama says:

      Goosebumps… made me hug my baby (#5!) a little harder and longer tonight.

      June 10th, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    26. Page says:

      Ahhh, great reminder. Thanks!

      June 10th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    27. Kelly says:

      Beautiful. Thank you.

      June 11th, 2008 at 12:26 am

    28. Lundie says:

      What a wonderful post. Thank you for being a blessing for THIS minute. 😉

      June 11th, 2008 at 12:39 am

    29. Lilly says:

      I still lie down with my 11 yr old and we talk before he goes to sleep. It’s a wonderful part of our day. …Your son is very wise.

      June 11th, 2008 at 12:40 am

    30. Jenny says:

      A good reminder for me. Thank you. (and that boy of yours?? He’s totally sweet.)

      June 11th, 2008 at 1:39 am

    31. jess says:

      Me too, Arleen, my mom used to have that poem on the wall. What a beautiful minute, thanks for sharing it.

      June 11th, 2008 at 2:02 am

    32. Amanda-VintageDutchGirl says:

      Oh, heart squeeze! Yep, those are the memories you will have, not of laundry and dishes, but cuddling your baby while he drifts asleep.

      June 11th, 2008 at 2:18 am

    33. Jim says:

      Life is like a vapor, it appears for a while, then vanishes away. (James 4:13-17)
      “this minute-it will not come again”: Very touching.

      June 11th, 2008 at 3:43 am

    34. Brenda L. Hudson says:

      These are “making memory moments” and they go with you for a lifetime. You will look back on moments like this when you are older and you will smile.

      June 11th, 2008 at 6:00 am

    35. midlife mommy says:

      Oh, here I go crying again. Thank you for the reminder.

      June 11th, 2008 at 6:32 am

    36. Theresa says:

      Beautiful. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      June 11th, 2008 at 7:24 am

    37. canadacole says:

      Oh AM, Thank you for this minute. And thank Sean too. I shall go and learn from his example. As soon as I finish drying these tears so I don’t alarm my littles.

      June 11th, 2008 at 8:23 am

    38. Tracy @ My Cup Runneth Over says:

      Ahh. Makes me sigh too. I so remember (and long for) those days again. You are wise to recognize how fleeting they are. In the beautiful words of Emily Dickinson “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet…” Thank you for sharing this sweet moment with your precious one.

      June 11th, 2008 at 8:23 am

    39. Heidi says:

      I also tend to count my failings at night and strive to do better.

      This minute, indeed. With teenagers, I am living on “minutes” with them, as our time together gets more and more rare. Afterall, it is the MINUTES that make the memories.

      Another beautiful post. Thank you.

      June 11th, 2008 at 8:54 am

    40. CircusKelli says:

      Damn you and your lovely beautiful post. You made me cry.

      June 11th, 2008 at 9:07 am

    41. Shalee says:

      How many “this minutes” have I missed? Such beautiful wisdom you’ve shown here. Thank you.

      June 11th, 2008 at 9:17 am

    42. This Minute « says:

      […] told a beautiful story in her post yesterday, and I thought I’d share it here. A lovely reminder for us parents to notice the miracles in […]

      June 11th, 2008 at 9:31 am

    43. Carola says:

      oh, I needed to read this post in this minute…thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful moment.

      June 11th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    44. Fraulein says:

      Awesome — thank you for this!

      June 11th, 2008 at 10:35 am

    45. Robbin says:

      I had that exact moment this morning with Harry. Brought tears to my eyes, too.

      June 11th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    46. Pat says:

      Is it not fantastic how God’s timing is always just right? What a beautiful boy, beautiful story. You’re doing great – you see the “minutes,” and that is not failing. Thank you for always lifting my spirits and helping me see my minutes, too.

      June 11th, 2008 at 11:29 am

    47. nan says:

      Oh, Antique Mommy, I have been away too long! Must visit daily. Those bedtime moments are so awesome. For years, I sat on the bedroom floor in the dark, folding laundry and singing lullabies. I still do sometimes and my eldest is 10! Nighttime is always a good time for sleepy, thoughtful questions and insights into the day’s worries. I like to be there for that.

      BTW, my blog has pictures! I am very proud of myself!

      June 11th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    48. Rivkeleh says:

      I’ve been struggling with guilt that I haven’t been firmer about training my now-4-y-o boy to get into his own bed and go to sleep on his own, and you can’t imagine the load this post takes off my shoulders. Some parenting resource I read suggests that the question is whether your love or hate the thing that you’re doing and feel guilty about. And if you hate it, you shouldn’t be doing it, but if the guilt is that you don’t want to give it up, and it is a special thing between you and child, you shouldn’t give it up. So I tote my heavier and heavier boy to his own bed after he inevitably falls asleep curled up with me and his father, and remind myself of the years and years to come where he wouldn’t want to do that if his life depended on it, and cherish the snuggling I get now. I waited for these moments my whole life too — thanks for a great reminder and perfect validation!

      June 11th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    49. trixiefan says:

      Oh, no fair! You made me tear up at work.

      June 11th, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    50. momhuebert says:

      Thank you. I’m at a different spot in my mother-journey, but the principle holds true. I’m going to enjoy “this minute” every day, even while we’re making wedding plans, and life is feeling a little chaotic. Even this will pass, and I’ll be sorry, unless I remember to enjoy the minutes. Thanks for the reminder.

      June 11th, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    51. Aimee says:

      This hit so close to home. I often wonder how many other parents lay with their child til they fall asleep, if I should just tuck him in, give a kiss and hug and leave. I too lay in my son’s bed and think of the things I need to get done waiting for him to fall asleep, and while I do, I realize that all too soon, he won’t want me to be there they way he does now, so I savor every minute and try to forget about my to do list. Thank you for such a beautiful post and a nice reminder to enjoy the the minutes!

      June 11th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    52. Linda says:

      Tears welling up…oh boy!

      June 11th, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    53. Melissa @ Anxious for Nothing says:

      Beautiful post…thank you.

      June 11th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    54. Tina says:

      Beautifully said. Thanks for such a sweet reminder…

      June 11th, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    55. shayne says:

      Ok I will not obsess about the missed moments. I’m just going to concentrate being there for the ones that haven’t happened yet.

      Thanks AM. I think sometimes God uses you to gently remind me of things He’s been whispering to me over and over again. Things like, “Be still, and know that I AM.”

      Cause sometimes with me the whispering doesn’t work. So he uses you to bop me over the head. Lovingly of course.

      Squeeze Sean for me tonight.

      June 11th, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    56. nancy says:

      Oh, you did it again. I really should expect it by now. You made tears spring up out of nowhere! Thanks for sharing the special moment. I’ll probably think twice before saying, “Just a minute” to anyone….I just might miss something special! And I’m going to quit worrying about that weeding/yard work that needs to be done.

      June 11th, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    57. Tipper says:

      I love those kind of minutes.

      June 11th, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    58. Katiebod says:

      Good grief, woman. You’re killin’ me.


      June 11th, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    59. diXymiss says:

      TWANG! There go my heartstrings… Would somebody please pass the boX of kleeneX?

      June 11th, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    60. AliAnn says:

      Thank you, thank you for such precious reminders. Instead of thinking of my failures tonight, I will think about these minutes and all they mean.

      June 11th, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    61. creative-type dad says:

      That’s just sweet…

      June 12th, 2008 at 12:58 am

    62. Susan says:

      As the single mom of a brilliant and charming six year old (a completely unbiased opinion) and one who is trying my best to hold things together while working two jobs, one of which is a daily radio show, meaning I actually have to be coherant and creative for three hours out of the day, I really identify with this one. Those moments are so rare for me and when they come, I treasure them and hold them in my heart like the jewels they are. Thank you so much for touching my heart once again today and reminding me of what is most important in life. I really love your blog and I would be first in line to buy your book if you ever put them all together into one….and I’ll bet I would not be alone!

      June 12th, 2008 at 1:15 am

    63. imagine community says:

      Sean’s observations and sensitivity are a real tribute to your parenting. You give such lovely expression to these moments. Thank you for lifting my morning.

      June 12th, 2008 at 9:14 am

    64. bee says:

      That boy of yours says the SWEETEST things!!!

      June 12th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    65. Chris says:

      one word.


      June 12th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    66. Adventures In Babywearing says:

      Oh hello- that was beautiful..


      June 12th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    67. Tiffany says:

      Beautiful! Thanks for sharing this lovely story and for giving me a moment of clarity in my own struggle between motherhood and “tasks undone.”

      June 12th, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    68. Kacey says:

      Your writing expresses the things in our hearts that most of us feel, but are inadequate to express. You make us cry with the beauty of the relationship between parent and child. Thank you for taking me back to the day when my children were Sean’s age. Life is truly made of moments like this.

      June 12th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    69. julie says:


      June 12th, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    70. cyn says:

      Love it! I so like it when God gives me “minutes” like that with the kiddos. It makes me SLOW down!

      June 12th, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    71. Christine says:

      Love it…I have goose bumps. Well said. I am also a “wait until he goes to sleep so I can get up and do other stuff” mom. That time really is precious. Thanks for the reminder

      June 12th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    72. happy Mommy says:

      You make me cry more often than not! Wonderfully true post!

      June 13th, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    73. Rivkeleh says:

      Thought of you again last night in the middle of the night when a nightmare had me up and “snuggling” my boy until he went back to sleep. How long will he want this? And then once he stops wanting it, how long will he tolerate it? He already brushes me off when I swoop to kiss him in public.

      I remembered to cherish the 2am snuggle, and thanked you for reminding me.

      June 13th, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    74. Mary Ann says:

      Heya– I’m a United Methodist pastor, and I wodner whether I might use this some time in a sermon. Would you, could you, email me and let me know? Many thanks!

      June 13th, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    75. The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino says:

      Precious, just precious!

      June 14th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    76. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates says:

      How beautiful. We need to really enjoy all those precious minutes.

      June 14th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    77. Alexis Ahrens says:

      Such a beautiful reminder that there really is nothing more important than this very precious moment. Our children are so wise. They haven’t yet forgotten this critical bit of wisdom – this key to peace and joy! How wise of YOU to listen and notice and allow him to remind you. Thank you for sharing your life!

      June 14th, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    78. Dolly says:

      Wha! Tears! Thank you for such a timely reminder to cherish them now!

      June 14th, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    79. JEANNE says:

      Aw, that made me teary eyed 🙂 I can relate – I get caught up so often in worrying about what I “should” be doing that I forget to stop and appreciate the things that really count…

      June 14th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    80. sue says:

      HOW UTTERLY BEAUTIFUL . I needed these words to find me today .

      June 14th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    81. genny says:

      I found your link at Rocks in My Dryer. Your BEAUTIFUL post made me cry! So, so, SO beautiful. Thank you.

      June 14th, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    82. Sandra ~ My Inspired Heart says:

      Absolutely wonderful post! I do the same thing with my daughters at night…lie next to them while they drift off to sleep…sometimes impatiently with the rest of my to-do list running through my head. Your post is a beautiful reminder that the only minute that matters is the present one. We can never get those precious present moments back!

      June 15th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    83. moobeema says:

      so lovely. so true. thank you.

      June 15th, 2008 at 11:14 am

    84. Elaine says:

      Beautiful, sweet post!

      No doubt, there is alot to do in our daily lives but we also cannot forget how fast time passes and that they are only young once. Cherish the minutes! : )

      June 15th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    85. Penny Raine says:

      thanks for the reminder to just enjoy “this minute”

      blessings, Penny Raine

      June 16th, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    86. Missy @ It's Almost Naptime says:

      Oh, waaaaahhhhhhhh!! That got me.

      Now I am going to get you back.

      Get on iTunes and download Josephine Cameron’s “I Could Not Ask for More”. You’ll be glad you did.


      June 17th, 2008 at 1:55 am

    87. Kim says:

      Oh. WOW!
      Precious memories. Thank you.

      June 17th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    88. karey m. says:

      oh, this is a gorgeous pice of writing…and a stunning slice of your life. thank you so much for sharing it with us…and for inspiring the heck out of me.

      June 19th, 2008 at 1:47 am

    89. marla says:

      this is the best post I have ever read – no doubt about it

      June 19th, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    90. Diigo bookmarks 06/20/2008 « Jill’s Place says:

      […] This Minute […]

      June 20th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    91. Stephanie says:

      Such a beautiful post! You are a wonderful writer! I think about this post almost every night when I put my daughter to bed now. What a lovely reminder to cherish the little minutes with her…

      Do you always stay in bed with your son until he falls asleep? I do the same thing with my little girl…

      June 21st, 2008 at 12:29 am

    92. Natalie says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your experience. I need to remember this always!

      June 21st, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    93. HarryJack'sMom says:

      I, too, love their spines – there was not an ultrasound that I could get thru without getting teary when I saw all those miraculuous bones growing strong and sure. Thank you for putting those hopes and dreams into more eloquent words than I ever could. I’m getting ready to experience ‘this minute’ when I get a mid-sleep snuggle while helping them to the bathroom – thanx again for the reminders to cherish each moment 🙂

      June 22nd, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    94. cloudsters says:

      Beautifully-written post. Our child is only two months old and our favourite minutes are when he’s peacefully asleep – but now we’re waiting for when he’ll be old enough to punch out such gems at bedtime.

      June 23rd, 2008 at 5:49 am

    95. Amber says:

      I followed a link from another blog to this post & am so thrilled to have discovered such a beautifully written and *heart-felt* blog. It’s moments like these that stay with us forever.

      Thanks again – I look forward to reading more 🙂

      June 30th, 2008 at 6:33 am

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