Almost to the library’s exit, he stops and leans in the office
window.  He’s Dennis the Menace with a
buzz cut.  His puffy red winter coat hangs
unzipped and flapping, bright blue rain boots peak out from under brown
fleecy pants.  Two library books travel
tucked under an arm. 

“You organizing things?” he asks.  The hand he talks with flaps along with his
words.  I hang back, watching to see
whether the librarian will untangle his garbled words without my

She does, and a short conversation ensues.  He’s all charm and delight and she’s grateful
for an interruption. 

Then, “Mom?” he asks, in his overly loud serious voice,
“What’s that heart shaped thing?” 

It’s a whiteout dispenser, not exactly heart shaped, but
close enough.  The librarian demonstrates
its abilities before the twins who peer in wonder. 

“Mom?!,” he shouts again though I’m standing only a few feet
behind.  He’s done with casual
conversation and pushing through the door. 
“Can you get me one of those?  I
can use it in my office.”

He has an office he built himself, under the laundry table
and, naturally, he keeps it well-stocked with office supplies.  These he keeps separate from his tools which
are stored in a wide variety of tool boxes ranging from metal to cardboard to
plastic.   And the tools and office
supplies are never mingled with his “weapons,” which he keeps in stashes in the
living room and his bedroom. 

He’s my little “worker man,” the one who casually announces
how he will split his time as an adult, between working and helping me out at

Before the brief window conversation he stood exploring the
library’s vestibule while I checked out a tower of books. “What’s this?  What’s that? 
Where’s the light switch?” he yells. 
“Where’s the light switch?!  I
found a light!”  Like some little grand
inquisitor, he surveys every new environment, hunting out any unknown gadget or

In the children’s section, he hovers near the board books.  He chooses a bible story book, because it has
a handle, a Dora book (because of its flaps) among others.  His selections baffle me.  I don’t want to bring home board books,
they’re boring and so small they’re too easily lost.  In a compromise, I sort through the pile,
paring it down to a manageable mole hill and suggest we sit for a few minutes
to read the ones we aren’t bringing home.

For once, they accept my suggested deal without
negotiation.  We pile together in a big,
red armchair forming a mountain of people, boots and coats.  The twins rest, one on each leg, leaning back
against me as I lean back into the chair. 
The weight of their bodies on me is a welcome comfort, the heat and
pressure of presence like I would imagine a hot stone massage might feel. 

Their weight in my lap feels like coming home, always, and in the midst of its joy and comfort, I’m aware of this season’s ending. 

We wander through a sparkly princess book about friends and
then two more picture books snatched from a nearby windowsill.  The boys bake on top of me, zipped up fully
in their winter coats.  They grow still
under the soothing waves of words and I feel first one then another yawn expand
and then deflate Levi’s barrel chest. 

I’m caught here in this time between where one
moment my lap is filled with drowsy little boy and the next he’s amicably chatting up the librarian and collecting resources for the next time he needs to “work for awhile” in his office.  

This is four, this moment between inhale and exhale that
lasts only as long as you can hold your breath. 

But the truth is, it never lasts, nothing does. 

Rather than holding my breath, I’m learning to breathe
deep, to lean-in to the blessing of each moment as we move along together,
these boys, these blessings and I. 

*   *   *

Guess what?  We finally have a #SmallWonder button!  If you want to use it, simply copy the image, then add it to your post or sidebar with a link to  

Are you or do you have writer friends local to the PA, Maryland, New Jersey area?  If so, would you consider attending or sharing the information about the upcoming writing retreat to be held here at the farm house?  You can find more details under the Writing Retreat tab.

Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.  

What if we chose to deliberately look for the small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God? 

That’s my proposal – that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.  

You’re invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder.  Don’t worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right – you’re welcome to come as you are.  

While you’re here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.   

Sustainable Spirituality

Sustainable Spirituality

Design a spiritual life that works for your life. Sign up now to receive my FREE GUIDE explaining the top 5 characteristics of sustainable spirituality.

When you get the FREE guide you are also subscribing to Quiet Lights, my bi-monthly email containing contemplative resources and writing.

Thanks for subscribing! Check your email inbox for a link to download the free gift.