Yesterday, as I sat on the grass at a park watching my oldest daughter work the field at her very first soccer practice ever (how very suburban soccer mom of me!), I suddenly felt the most peculiar, faraway sensation. One minute I could hear my youngest child, who was seated next to me, belting out Kelly Clarkson's Since U Been Gone over and over and over and OVER while thoroughly engrossed in perfecting her performance by singing into the silvery backside of my iPod (which I have discovered makes a FAB impromptu compact mirror). The next moment her voice abruptly faded-- in fact, all the noise around me faded-- as if the volume at the park had been turned down suddenly and inexplicably, and I had the most amazing feeling in my heart. A sort of quiet fullness is the closest I can get to describing it. And in the stillness, I could almost feel the dusk pressing down around me, but in a breathless, deeply exciting kind of way.
I investigated this feeling further, in a kind of hazy, contented fashion, absently plucking strands of grass, scratching at day-old mosquito bites, breathing in the earthy, warm scent of the newly mown grass. And as the afternoon light began to wane, fading behind the trees that circled the park, I watched my daughter-- who seemed to be so far away from me, as if only a lovely dream or a pleasant movie playing on a huge outdoor screen-- zigging and zagging, chasing the ball, passing, her blonde hair flying, damp, curly strands sticking to her forehead, shouting, laughing-- and I had the most wonderful feeling of happiness and well-being as I have ever had in my life.
Just then, a sharp little tug at my shirt caught my attention. My youngest, bored with performing for the masses, was begging for a snack.
"Can we get cake?" she asked from a long distance, though she was almost nose to nose with me. "I think we should have cake." (She is SO my daughter.)
Suddenly the volume came blaring back and there was an almost strident cacophony of sounds, which rather than unpleasant were undeniably real-- parents calling to their children, girls giggling and tackling each other, the coach screaming something about gathering the balls, dogs barking to each other in the distant backyards, and my daughter chanting, "Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!"
At that moment my soccer player ran up, all stinky and excited. "Cake!" she echoed happily.
I handed her a water bottle. "We'll see," I said as I tousled her sweaty hair.
As she gathered her new team jersey, I took one last, furtive look around. I am not sure why. Perhaps I was trying to recapture the moment, but it had slipped away. It was just a soccer field, just a grove of trees, just a suburban neighborhood...
... just a day in my life.
I smiled as we all walked hand in hand to the car.
- Nessa commented:
I love it - love those moments!
- » 9/23/2005 9:57 AM
- kalki commented:
I've had those moments, too, but never been able to successfully capture their essence in writing. But you absolutely did. I loved reading this.
- » 9/23/2005 10:12 AM
- Circus Kelli commented:
Chills. This gave me the good kind of chills, Cat. Very, very cool.
Of course, now I have the word CAKE! echoing in my brain...
CAKE! CAKE! CAKE!
- » 9/23/2005 10:31 AM
- WILLIAM commented:
Very nice post. I liked your descriptions.
- » 9/23/2005 11:36 AM
- Annejelynn commented:
k, my heart is melting...
- » 9/23/2005 11:58 AM
- LadyBug commented:
Oh! That was lovely, cat. Just lovely.
And I got the good kind of chills, too. I also got a sudden, urgent need to hold my babies.
- » 9/23/2005 11:59 AM
- mrtl commented:
You made me teary, biznitch.
You did get cake, didn't you??
- » 9/23/2005 2:32 PM
- Greenthumb commented:
heartachingly beautiful Cat. My timber shivered.
- » 9/24/2005 9:34 AM
- Michele in Michigan commented:
OMG--the NURSE in me thought you gonna tell us that you passed out, or had a mini stroke!!!
I loved your descriptions... the warming of my heart ensued... and ahhhhh....cake! LOL
- » 9/24/2005 11:22 AM
- Ern commented:
What a beautiful description of contentment.
- » 9/24/2005 2:23 PM