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.