I saw a delicate brown-eyed little girl, barely toddling. She bent to examine something shiny, and I wanted to tell her to remember this moment. I wanted her to appreciate that the wonder of the little things fades as we grow, and that the shiny of a coin would become commonplace, and that she would forget. She would forget to be amazed. And I wanted her to remember this moment in her heart.
I saw, through the store window, another girl of 10. She danced to the video game, and I wanted to tell her to remember this moment too. Someday, she might be a gawky teen or even adult, and she would be too embarrassed for the world to see her try. So I wanted her to remember this moment of complete lack of self-consciousness. I wanted her to remember what it was to dance and not care who knew.
I saw a group of high school girls, giggly and yet pretending to be grown-up. I wanted to tell them to remember this moment… that friendship and time to connect would not always come this easily. I wanted them to know how lucky they were to have each other, to have people they enjoyed to do life with. I wanted them to appreciate the laughter and the good times and to hold their friendships sacred. Too easily lost, too often thrown away. And I wanted them to remember what it is they played with.
I saw a young mom, tired and worn out, as her child wouldn’t be consoled. I wanted to tell her to remember this moment too. I wanted her to know that it was okay, that children sometimes just cry. I wanted her to remember the times when she could fix everything with a cookie and a band-aid… that someday, the scrapes and bruises of the knees would become wounds of the heart and slightly less treatable with chocolate chips and strips of cotton. I wanted her to remember the chubby arms around her neck and the sticky kisses on her cheeks. I wanted her to know that this, too, shall pass. But that this applies to the sticky kisses as well as the crying through the mall, and to appreciate where she was right in that moment.
As I drove home, I realized it wasn’t them I wanted to tell. It was me.
I wanted to remember what it was to be amazed by the smallest of things. I wanted to remember what it was to dance, to not care who was watching me, to act without inhibition. I wanted to remember the gift of friendship and I wanted to give it the respect it deserves. I wanted to remember when everything could be fixed with graham crackers and a mother’s kiss.