When rocks are feathers

Texas weather has been blissful lately. Cold, gray, and requiring gloves and a hat. On one of these days I took Hollis to the park where we had the run of the place. It was cold enough to see my breath, but not so cold that I couldn't sit idly by on the swing to watch my dark blond-headed baby run hither and thither.

And so I sat on the black strip of rubber and let my body swing gently back and forth, the bite in the air reddening my cheeks and lifting my spirits. Hollis clamored onto the kiddie playscapes, cautious as ever, but emboldened by new found coordination and strength. He found a piece of dark construction paper, a little hand traced in white chalk with the word "please" on it, and climbed to the top of two steps and let it slide down a big tube. He'd jump down, race around to the bottom of the slide, grab the paper and yell, "Gain!" to himself and do it all again, over and over.

Soon enough, his attention was drawn to a pile of limestone rocks outside of the bark box, beside a giant oak. He first walked a circle around the pile, then gingerly put his hand on one within easy reach. Next, he bent low, butt to the ground, and wrapped his arms around one and stood up. Obvious to only his little brain, he decided to bring me the rock, and run off for rounds 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Oak trees were dark silhouettes against the bright gray sky and Hollis' peals of laughter curled up through their branches and faded away in bursts of toddler zeal. This afternoon felt like balm on my crunchy, aching heart and despite the temperature outside, I felt warm and fuzzy. I had a pile of rocks on my lap pressing me into the swing, but I felt like I could leap tall buildings in a single bound.

"This is what I'm here for," I thought. "To cradle rocks for him." And for all the oddness of that statement I couldn't put it in better words than that. As I struggle with my own issues and feelings of helplessness Hollis has helped to anchor the other half of me, the mothering half, just by virtue of his existence.

I also wondered what other moments might be occurring in that same moment with other parents and children elsewhere, what magic might be connecting two souls? And I'm curious to know what that looked like for them. Was it a quiet moment like mine? Was it more obvious? A carefully scribbled note to mommy like for Maria at Bored Mommy? Or an overall feeling like what Loukia at Loulou's Views often feels when she's with her sons? Or a moment of deep admiration and reflection like Amity at The Noble Savage?

It's a testament to the uniqueness of this life that they come in so many packages, perfectly wrapped just for us and no one else. And so, I have to ask, What have your magical moments been like? What happened? Where were you? And how did it affect you?


  1. I think my magical moments were watching my grown sons be dads. They both are loving, engaged fathers. Their children adore them, and seeing the love in their faces as they look up at their dads, my sons, fills my heart to the overflowing point with love and pride.

  2. This was a truly beautiful post. You write so well. Now that my daughters are older (18 and 21) they've been able to tell me how much all the little things meant along the way. Holding someone's rocks is huge.

  3. You're the best, Jessica, such a beautiful writer and blogger. I swear, I think you're sort of my soul mate! :)
    My magical moments happen all the time... everyday, the little things... today, it was lying down beside my baby boy putting him to sleep, breathing together, kissing his little baby hand, wondering how he has grown so fast. And making little treat bags with my 4 year old, enjoying the moment, seeing him do such a good job, talking about school, having fun - it amazed me to see him so 'grown-up'. Everyday, as hard as it is, being a mom, those little moments are what makes it all so worthwhile. The moments that make my heart flutter and make me smile all over.
    Your Hollis is so adorable! Glad you had such a beautiful time.

  4. My magical moments usually involve watching my children sleep. They look so small and baby-like at those moments. Also, they're quiet and peaceful and pretty easy to get along with. Oh, the sweetness!

  5. this morning with toddler- watching him run away as i played a song he did not. then him running back into my arms with a sour face because he's surly and sweet. i love his surly. it's just him...ever since day one.

    this morning with one year old- feeling her velvety hands on mine as she "explored" new books from her birthday. her attention was elsewhere but her physical touch was still with me.

    both moments i'll never forget.

  6. You totally make me miss my boys. I am without them for 14 hours a day working and commuting. My magical moment is different for each of them. The very first time I breastfed Alex. I remember just waking up as if called to duty by a silent alarm, struggling to position myself in the hospital bed (after the c-section) so that I would be ready to hold him and not waste time trying to prop myself up. There was a dim light glowing above me and the nurse put little Alex in my arms. He looked right up at me completely silent and just looked for his midnight meal, putting his hand out. I knew then that I was it. His everything and just how important my job as a new Mommy was. I still see him that way. As a little baby...he is. But you know - now a BIG 5 according to him. He's been through so much and all I want to do is make sure that I am always there to take care of him when he has little upsets.



  7. My moments are the small things. Fleeting moments of bliss.

  8. I think the most magical moments are the least planned, the ones that to any outsider might seem like nothing special. I got teary-eyes when you talked about him bringing you rocks. Stella did stuff like that. She still does things that may seem silly to anyone else, but make me think how adorable she is and how much I love her!!

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