The sky was moody and the grass, the brightest of greens. The kind of green suburbanite fathers dream of for their yards. There was an afternoon storm blowing in and the blue sky was losing the fight to dark and expansive clouds, but the lighting was perfect. So perfect. My two boys were running through an open field, being the epitome of boys…running in no particular direction, but Chase was walking straight towards me, trying to herd the boys like they were sheep. Mountains were surrounding them, the boys’ bellies full of pizza and the candy we treated them to from the toy store. Honestly, I had to fight myself in the urge to grab my phone from my pocket and not capture it.
But sometimes, not often enough, I take a deep breath and try to just drink it all in, try to not miss a second. To memorize the moments that I’m sure when I’m old and grey, I will think of fondly when I envision and retell of our family trips to the cabin. I won’t sigh in frustration that they woke up with the birds and the dew at 5 am. I won’t furrow my brow in defeat that they were almost always too excited to sit and eat meals. We’ll laugh about Knox’s trip to the ER instead of holding our breaths in regards to the astronomical bill for some glorified super glue. I’ll remember the sights of them running free. I’ll remember Knox with his green bike helmet, buzzing around in his strider like a bumble bee…and Owen playing with his favorite dump truck and “dodo” (bulldozer) in the shade of a grove of aspen trees. I’ll remember the wild flowers in their impossibly beautiful colors, the lupines standing tall, the sunset hued poppies and the pink peonies showing off their splendor. I’ll remember how the sun reflects off the little pond by the river at golden hour, glistening and making everything glow and sparkle, even momentarily blinding you if you get too direct of a reflection. I’ll remember how the layers upon layers of mountains simply take my breath away. How the waterfalls make me double-take because they are hidden surprises when you take a moment to look close enough.
Sometimes I forget that moments are more influential and special etched on my soul and in my mind, than documented on my phone. Those moments that are impossible to forget, even if you didn’t get a snapshot of it? Those are the good ones. Those are the ones that make you momentarily forget the deep hardships and stresses of being a mother. Those are the memories that take residence in your soul (and try to trick you into having more babies). Those are the memories worth keeping.