This week has been one of the busiest ever. My daughter Jordanne played her senior clarinet recital at the University of Texas at Tyler last night and we planned the most elegant of receptions to follow. Ok, it was an epic nacho bar — so not elegant, per se, but still fun. I don’t care who you are: put out free nachos and students will flock in like stoners to Colorado.
I was sitting at the computer goofing for a few minutes yesterday afternoon and Jody comes in. She has her hair in a stunning 1940s type up-do and she’s wearing her floor-length formal dress–all black lace and satin–and she’s gorgeous.
“Help me with my buttons?” She asks, completely unaware of how lovely she looks. Her makeup is perfect–her green eyes, the exact color of my mother’s and her mother’s, are lined and shadowed subtly.
She turns around and I slide the tiny black buttons into their corresponding hoops. “Don’t forget your pearls,” I manage to say.
All I can think is this: I don’t want to forget a second of today.
So much of our lives come and go at such a break-neck pace and certainly some days seem a bigger deal than others. But you know what? Every single second is just as precious as the moment that I watched my grown daughter play her recital, standing in the spotlight on stage, the sweet melody sounding to me every bit as lovely as music the angels sing.
One day, the memory will fade. I might not recollect the hush of the auditorium as she took the stage, the expression of the pianist, how Sarah sat next to me recording everything on her iPhone. I might forget how my husband stood behind silver serving trays and spooned nacho cheese out onto plastic containers for an hour, smiling and chatting with Jody’s friends who came through the line for seconds.
I might forget Mancub and Watergirl as they sat in the row in front of us, transfixed on Jody’s performance onstage.
Yes, we took video and pictures, but there’s something special about writing the words down, describing every moment. Here are 5 reasons why moms should be the writers and transcribers of the family.
1. In the words of Trace Atkins, you’re gonna miss this. There’s too much happening every day to notice the tiny diamonds along the way. Kids grow up, people move on…this moment is never guaranteed to happen again. If you write about it something, it’s never really lost.Every moment, no matter how mundane, will someday be a treasure to take out and remember.
2. We’re the historians of the family. If we don’t write it down, chances are nobody will, and there’s something special about the point of view as seen through the eyes of a mother.
3. There’s a place where pictures fail and only words suffice. You can’t take a picture of the sound of a crowd at a little league game. You can’t snap a photo of the scent of freshly mowed grass at the park, or the smell of concession stand nachos and hot dogs. You can’t photograph the excited dialog of your son chatting along on the ride home about his first grounder.
4. There’s a form of honor in writing about an experience. Sometimes people just don’t know how much they mean to you until they see it in print. By taking the moment to put the words together on paper, you elevate what might seem like a common experience to the uncommon–the mundane to the special.
5. Moms are the treasurers of the family. We keep everything (well, almost everything–I did throw away some of Nate’s first grade homework that he guilt-tripped me into saving). Doesn’t it make sense that we keep the records of our family…the history of where we came from?
You don’t have to buy a leather-bound journal. You can blog, Facebook, or write a letter. The important thing is this: just start writing. You’ll be glad you did.