(If you don’t know the origin of that quote, get yourself to a copy of You’ve Got Mail and don’t come out till you’ve finished, thank you very much.)
You know, I have been struggling to write this blog lately. Sometimes I have blocks of silence where no words come, and all I can hear is whistling. Since I normally spend all my time with sentences racketing around, deafeningly, in my head, I find this lack of wordiness (Darth Vader breath)…disturbing.
Still. It’ll come back. It usually does. And though it goes against the grain to admit it, some of the moments that mean the most to me happen in silence – snapshots that flash in the spaces between one breath and the next – and are best appreciated in silence, too.
Today is Thanksgiving. Here are some of the snapshots I’m grateful for.
We are at Five Guys for the first time. Tim is fiddling with the drinks machine, and I am watching him from across the way. I love being out all together like this. I have never seen anyone, ever, get so excited about the concept of vanilla Sprite.
It’s 4.30am, and Teddy is hungry. He will not let go of the middle-of-the-night feed, this boy, and my feelings about it are less than charitable. I get up crossly, pull his swaddling blanket loose, and as soon as he sees me his whole body tenses with unbearable delight.
I’ve just been for lunch with some lovely people, and the boys and I are getting back into the car. I’ve swung them into their car seats, dismantled the pushchair-tank without breaking a sweat and climbed in myself. I am wearing new boots. Henry is telling me a joke. My car starts first time. For once, and for a tiny second, I feel like the most competent person alive.
I’m due to drop off a meal for a friend at the other end of town. It’s dinnertime, dark and cold and depressing. ‘Henry, time to go!’ I yell up the stairs. He yells back, ‘Not now Mummy, I reading!’ I open the door. He is, too – Alfie Gives A Hand open in front of him. ‘Happy burfday to you‘, he mutters, face screwed up in concentration.
I am driving past the park in harsh winter sun. The wind ruffles the tree branches and suddenly the bank to my left is blazing with a glorious, rich gold, unbelievably beautiful. I can hardly stop looking at it. I hold my breath as I pass.
This Thanksgiving, it’s the snapshots I want to be grateful for. All gathered and gleaming in my hands and heart, and with no words around them at all.