Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders,
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours,
These small hours still remain.
--Rob Thomas, "These Small Hours"
The five-year-old curled up in her bed, her hair still a little damp from her shower a few minutes before, her mind racing through her options for the best way to delay bedtime.
"What if there's a fire? I don't like to jump out of windows," she told me.
"If there's a fire, I'll come for you," I said.
"But what if I get lost in the deep, deep forest?" she asked.
"You won't ever be in the deep, deep forest," I told her. She shot me a look that made it clear this answer was far too practical to satisfy her need for drama.
I amended my response. "If you get lost in the deep, deep forest, I'll come and find you," I said, and she nodded, satisfied. Her heavy eyelids started to droop. The 11-year-old wandered in, carrying his guitar.
"Could I play her a lullaby?" he asked quietly. I nodded, and he sat down and strummed "Jesus Loves Me" while his little sister held tightly to my hand.
Then the 8-year-old wandered in, playing his drum, because we all know that "Jesus Loves Me" is much more effective as a lullaby with a loud and driving drum beat.
The 12-year-old heard the ruckus and popped in, playing along on his harmonica. This would've been significantly more impressive if he actually knew how to play a harmonica. His playing messed up the 11-year-old, who stopped right at the "little ones to Him belong part" to whack his brother. The five-year-old was so excited by this exchange that she jumped to her feet and began to sing/shriek along while jumping up and down on her bed. The two big boys stopped their fighting, suddenly distracted by the fact that "Jesus" sounds a lot like "Cheez-Its".
The five-year-old continued to jump. The 8-year-old continued to pound. The older ones continued to shriek their hymn to the little orange crackers.
I laughed, and I wondered exactly where I lost my sweet moment.
I laughed harder, and I realized I didn't lose it at all.