The other day, my daughter, Melissa, and I were heading to the local outlet mall with her two kids, who also happen to be my grandkids. Miles and Georgia were in the backseat, legally secured in their newfangled, regulation, impossible-for-Grammy-to-buckle-without-cursing, car seats. Georgia was asleep, holding best stuffed bud, Beary Manilow, in a death grip, and Miles was complaining because it was taking too long to arrive at the restaurant where he was going to get the juice we had promised him. This delay was based on the scenic route we'd embarked upon, out of Portland, through Troutdale, where Melissa and Trevor had celebrated their wedding, then down by the Sandy River, and up the side of a small mountain.
“Juice! I want juice!” Miles reiterated the iteration he’d iterated quite a few times during our journey. Truth be told, he would have been much happier at home riding his Christmas bike, but, at three, he doesn’t really have much of a say about how he spends his days, other than belting out “Juice!” every few minutes.
In an effort to hold our squirmer off for while longer, either Melissa or I had promised, at some point, that we were going to see something really awesome at the top of the mountain, yes indeed, employing the overused term that’s become such a cliché. What that awesome thing was we had no idea, but what we wanted was for him to stop fussing long enough for us all to be able to take in the beauty of that mountain and that river and the time we were spending together, just the four of us snugly snapped into our warm seats in Melissa’s mom-mobile on a wet and cold Oregon December day.
A bit more time went by and we discerned that the complaint department had apparently closed down in the back and we thought Miles, thumb in mouth and Gankie tucked under arm, had dozed off to snore in unison with Georgia by his side. With new confidence, we drove a little higher up the mountain, enjoying the quiet and the companionship, mother and daughter all grown up.
However, just as we were lulled into a faux serenity and some entry-level contemplation, a little voice emerged from the back seat.
“But where’s the awesome?”
After a chuckle at Miles’ cuteness with his childish but point-on question, I stopped to consider the fact that we often spend so much time overusing a term based on a dearth of a more varied and thoughtful vocabulary and attempting to make the mundane noteworthy, that we overlook the minor miracles, the real awesomeness we happen upon, but often fail to note, in the hurry up of our everyday lives.
So, with that in mind, I challenged myself to notice and document the truly awesome for the rest of that day. And I did.
- the deli lunch with the promised juice and hot dogs and lots of crackers, many on the floor, while the kids, in turn, sat on the table.
- shopping for light-up shoes and packages of socks and finding one-year-old Georgia sitting, legs straight out, on the floor at the front of the store trying on a Norwegian knit hat from the sale bin.
- fifty-cent rides with a serious Spidey and mirthful Big Bird.
- driving back over Portland's gorgeous bridges with both kids asleep (and quiet) in the back.
- walking in the rain to Pattie's Home Plate later in the day with son Billy and granddaughter Cami for a most unusual dinner.
- coming back home, wet and happy, to listen to Cami's two-year-old patter about her day and her papa and her mama named Mary.
Cami after our walk in the rain
I know there was more to that day that I could have commemorated, but I'm still new at looking for the awesome. I'm hoping this Omar Khayyam treasure, recently shared by a friend, might help me to stop and ponder the wonderful.
Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.