Always Real, Makes Me Sigh

This Minute

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.



95 thoughts on “This Minute

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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! 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Pingback: This Minute «
  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

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

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

  31. 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…

  32. 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!

  33. 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! : )

  34. 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.

  35. 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…

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

  37. 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 🙂

  38. 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.

  39. Hello,
    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 🙂

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