It happened I believe three minutes after Charlotte threw the last of her tacos onto the floor. Usually three minutes after this common procedure of hers, I’m still muttering under my breath as I sweep up pieces of shredded cheese and wipe down a table covered in sour cream.
But tonight, for reasons that can be explained only by looking into the parts of my brain that are better left unexplored, I had selected some Christmas music as our dinnertime companion. Yes, in August, we ate to Christmas music. It started with Michael Buble, and then as is often the case when ones mind gets going on a common theme, we proceeded down a YouTube like spiral, moving from Buble to Randy Travis and from Travis to Andrea Bocelli then from Bocelli to John Denver.
Along the way we also made stops at Celine Dion Way, Muppet Christmas Street and Mariah Carey Avenue. We ended on The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York, and it was what happened when we got there that I really remember. I remember because within seconds of the songs arrival on my iPhone, we were all up from the table and all dancing in our own unique fashions. I bobbed without much rhythm, Andrea danced far better than I, and the girls, as usual, made no sense at all with their moves. Leah stood on her head and Charlie spun on the spot with her arms swinging wildly.
It was, captured in a moment, the definition of our family.
What I’ve learned over my nearly four years as a parent is that it doesn’t take trips to Disney World or visits from Santa Claus to create a lasting memory. My childhood photo albums are filled with pictures of trips to Eastern Canada but my memory is filled with the things we did on those trips. Today, it’s our Facebook albums that document the journeys we go on through the pictures we add. But nowhere on Facebook will you see the smiles on all our faces as we all danced to a Christmas song in August.
You don’t need to write all these moments down because if they’re the right moment they’ll hang around in your brain for life anyway, but do be sure to take a second or two in the moment to be thankful.
The things that stick with us are the spontaneous moments that pop up every day. I may not remember that we danced after eating tacos and I may not remember that we were dancing to The Pogues, but I’m certain I’ll remember that we danced.
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