Freeze this moment [journal excerpt]

The other day, I was sitting on the couch entertaining Little Rabbit, who was in one of her attention-demanding moods (who am I kidding, she’s always demanding attention). I held a toy in front of her while she swatted at it and generally basked in the glow of being the center of the universe. As I sat there watching her play, I had the overwhelming feeling that I needed to freeze this moment—to stop time and preserve her as she is, small and curious and constantly moving, forever. Of course, that’s impossible. So instead, after she went to sleep for the night, I turned to my journal and attempted to translate the moment into words.

Tonight, sitting on the couch. Little Rabbit’s head in my lap, her body stretching out onto the cushion next to me. Her pudgy baby legs, kick, kick, kick. Feet in the air, in her hands, kick, kick, kick. Her fingers grasp her orange plastic monkey toy, flail about and fling it from side to side. Rattle, rattle, shake. Her fingers in her mouth, on the toy, around her toes. “Aye ya yaaa!” she says. Kick, kick, kick.

This is why journaling is so precious to me. A pen and paper can have as much power as—indeed, sometimes even more than—a camera for keeping those moments alive. And it allows you to flavor that moment however you wish, inject your own thoughts and feelings about it, and cast new light. But mostly, it enables me to choose to share. Both with you here and now and with Little Rabbit in the future. By journaling, I am not simply preserving my memories and moments for me. I am storing them up for the people I love and for the people who will love them—their spouses, children, and grandchildren. I am sharing with people who aren’t around for the experience (or who won’t remember it later) but would still cherish those moments. It is something done not only for me, but for the special people who will come after me. You know what they say: sharing is caring.

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