I think I’ve gone through life thinking there is a perfect whole I am aiming for. A goal. A final destination. So Ive hurried through time trying desperately to get to that perfect destination. It took 41 years to realize there is no perfect final destination. There is no final perfect whole. That dumbass saying about life being about the journey and NOT the destination is true. Dammit. It is. There is no perfect whole final destination. But there are some very perfect moments. The secret to life is recognizing them, slowing down, and enjoying them.
Sunday night I drove home from the cheer competition alone with Maddie asleep in the car next to me. It was dark and very, VERY snowy and slick and a bit scary. Just me and the radio for a few hours was nice though. And I looked at her curled up in a ball in her cheer uniform with a blanket and thought…this is one. This is one of those perfect moments. She’ll have her drivers license in just over a year and she won’t need me to drive her anywhere. That is such a weird realization.
I remember when I had Andy and Patrick had gone back to work and it was one of the first days I was home alone with an 18 month old and a 2 week old infant. And I remember rocking him in a chair while Maddie toddled around and for the first time in my life, at age 29, I felt like a Mom. Im not sure why it didn’t hit me like that with Maddie. Believe me I would have killed anyone who harmed my kids. Still would. But that overwhelming feeling of “God I am someone’s mother…I am two people’s mother” hit me in that moment. It was one of those perfect moments of panic and joy and fear and gratefulness all in one.
A few years later I was sitting in my parents driveway in a lawn chair drinking a Coors Light with my Dad. We were the only two outside and Charlie Robison was playing on the stereo (yes the garage stereo). We were discussing politics and music and how to change the world. It was important shit. All the important shit is figured out over Coors Light in a lawn chair. We sat well past dark and stared at the stars. Perfect. PERFECT. Moment.
In the past few years I’ve slowed down. Mentally I mean. And no jokes please. Im just as quick witted as I’ve always been so shut it…I mean Ive slowed my brain down, calmed the rush up there. Its been so nice. I truly honestly enjoy the moments more now. I don’t rush through things like I did. I don’t wish the days away. I don’t hurry. And I like it. Its ironic that this most beautiful and favorite time in my life is also filled with crap. Maddie’s health problems, Patrick’s brain rot. But somehow in the midst of all of that…and maybe BECAUSE of all of that Ive come to accept that there is a sadness in acceptance that your ending may not be the “Happy Fairytale” that you dreamed of or expected. It is sad. But acceptance is good because it leads to new discoveries. There may be no perfect ending…but there are absolutely perfect, beautiful, amazing moments that take your breath away if you let them. If you slow down and SEE them.
I’ve been lucky enough to have many. I had one in college, with an old friend. I had one at my wedding. I had one in high school at a football game while cheering. I had one on a mountain recently. I’ve had 42 years of many perfect moments. I know I’ll have many more. And now I know Ill actually be RIGHT enough and happy enough and slowed down enough to recognize them. And I’d give up a perfect ending any day for a million perfect moments.