It was a moment that may not have unfolded in the morning routine of most days. Getting six kids ready for school and myself ready for work normally looks like three hours of non-stop rushing. But in my recent efforts to make SURE my kids know the value of faith, family, and friends over schedules, iPhones and YouTube, I stopped what I was doing and listened when my five-year-old walked into my bathroom when I was fixing my hair for work and asked if I’d sit down and hold her. My usual response might have been, ‘Not right now… I have to finish getting ready so I’m not late for work.’ But not today. This time I decided that my hair was good enough for today and my response was, “Of course I will.”
So we pulled out the chair that she normally uses to kneel on when brushing her teeth, and she climbed up on my lap and wrapped both arms and legs around me. I held her for a moment, and then caught a glimpse of wonderful in the mirror… In the image looking back at me, I saw her close her little eyes and take a deep breath to smell my shirt. And she smiled. It was a smile of contentment. Her sleepy little voice said, “Mama… when I miss you today, I’m going to think about how you smell and remember this snuggle.” So will I, baby girl. So will I.
In that moment that almost didn’t happen, I realized that what other people might think is cheap, vanilla, drug store perfume represents comfort, security, and love to my daughter. I realized that taking a few extra minutes out of my usual morning routine didn’t make a bit of difference to the rest of the world, but it meant the world to her. I went to work with my hair in a ponytail, but with a child that knew she was the most important thing in that moment. It only took a few minutes to make a memory.
Friends, I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day today to slow down. Look people in the eye. Put the phone down. Turn off the television. Have a meal together. Smile more. You never know what kind of moments might unfold when a few moments of ‘rush’ are taken out of your day.
Denae Jones is a former teacher and the mother of six children. She and her husband Darrin reside in Bethel, where she is now a wealth management advisor.