He rang while I was at the park. At the time, I was wondering if one of the kids would break an arm on the spinning thing they were on. As soon as I heard his voice, I started to cry. I’m not usually a crier, but when he said, “It’s so good to hear your voice,” I buckled, because his voice is just what I needed to hear right then. He’s away working interstate this week, and it’s school holidays, and all that.
My daughter came over to my sitting spot, and placed a soft hand on my shoulder.
“You okay Mum? Is that Dad on the phone?”
“I’m fine honey, I just miss Dad.”
“Want to say hi?”
I went back the phone; there was no need for an apology for the interruption; we are both are used to staggered conversations. Family.
I said, “Pip is here, I’m putting you on speaker.”
“Hi Dad. I miss you.”
“I miss you too beautiful,” he said.
My daughter was sitting in my lap now and I snuggled her between my shoulders as I held the phone in front of us.
“Hey Pip,” Matt continued, “Guess what I saw? After work, I went down to the beach, and I saw these beautiful birds. They were sort of like fantails; a bit like a willy-wag tail size. It had blue splashes on its head, and brownish sort of feathers.”
“Hey Dad! Do you want me to look it up?” She ran off, without waiting for the answer. She often has her bird book near by when we are out and about in nature.
I can’t remember what Matt and I talked about while she was gone, but it was nice.
Pip had a sparkle in her eye when she sat next to me, book in hand. I was surprised to see her flick immediately to the fantail page, and then over the the finch page. She knows this book so well! I thought. As Matt described the bird again, we hunted through the book, took pictures and messaged them. Back and forth.
Nope. Close. Yes!
After much conversation, we decided the bird he saw was a surberb fairywren.
Pip stayed with me as Matt and I chatted. Placing her hand softly on my shoulder, just like when she first came to me, she said, “I’ll go back and play now Mum.”
“Okay love.” I whispered as I gave her a soft smile.
And why am I sharing this story? I don’t know. It was just one of those special moments, those moments that confirmed the value of family, sharing life together, love. You know those moments that seem to freeze in time somehow? Because they are real, uncontrived and true.
There are a lot of pressures on family life, and distractions. Busyness! Busyness! Far out, it’s full on sometimes! A lot of the time. And when all that is stripped away, you get these moments, when it feels so right. So true. Like all the good times, all the fun times, all the investment in family life, they triumph through, despite the chaos! They count: all the good things. They do. And I dare say, they have more power than the negative. I’ll store this moment in a treasure box in my heart, and I’ll draw on it again, deliberately, when I need a warm smile.
I’ll end this post with a few sketches I found around the house by my daughter. Maybe it’s because these small, sweet creatures are everywhere, that they have become so important in our family life. Next time I see a bird in the sky, I’ll thank God for such beauty.