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Freeze frame

When you go wandering on the Internet, there are no footprints in the snow to help you find your way back, remind you of the trees you walked beneath or the animals that crossed your path. 

In the dead of the night, startled by a dream, a noise, age, I went wandering. Followed a link to a post that linked to another that loved a third. And so on. And somehow, I found a photographer who wanted to give a prize: a free photo shoot in your house. After which, she would present the lucky reader with a book of photos meant to capture a day in their life. 

In all its ordinary extraordinariness. 

Describe the challenges and triumphs, she asked. Tell me about the moments you want to freeze frame.

And then I saw it: the deadline I'd missed. I'd wandered into the forest looking for autumn leaves and found them submerged in the creek bed beneath winter's ice shards. 

But it's the dead of the night again, a different night, and the sump pump wakes me. Its alarm triggered by the power outage of a strong winter storm. And I'm thinking of the five minutes I shared with Esme the other morning when we sat in a darkened room, hands intertwined, cheeks touching. Her carpool was late and we waited. In a silence that screamed "Remember this moment!"

I think of the fat tears that fill Tobias' dark brown eyes, wet his lashes and somehow stay suspended on his cheeks. His slap red round cheeks and impish smile. The way he crawls like a bear cub to my belly to watch TV, then puts his hand in my shirt. A reminder. Reassurance. I see him kiss me, how he holds his lips steady until they are ready to meet mine squarely. He puckers, then smooches with tender precision.

"Do it again," I say. "Again." "Again."

And if I'd found the photographer's site in time, that's what I would have told her. About those ordinary moments so extraordinary they keep me awake at night. 

Reader Comments (17)

Beautiful post, Dana.

January 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterneighbor

Home run!

January 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBuenoBaby


January 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLea R

I really love the way you write. That's about all I have to say, but I thought I'd say it.

January 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterseeking elevation

Beautiful post, Dana! And it was mentioned in DC Blogs Noted - yay!

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle


i love this so very much.

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternic @mybottlesup

This was lovely. So very and truly lovely.

January 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLemon Gloria

Dana, I thought I left a comment on this post when you originally wrote it. But when you posted a comment on my blog today I came over to look & saw nothing. I must have imagined writing it! This is really one of my favorite pieces you've written lately. Maybe because I'm in that frame of mind of noticing little moments as well....but mainly because it is just so beautifully written.
Thank you for sharing it!

February 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGina

Gorgeous writing. Just gorgeous.

Extraordinary ordinary moments, captured here in words instead of photographs. As indelible and lasting and true as any image could ever be. You don't know me well, but I prefer words to photos. I love a writer who can paint me a picture with her words.

As you have done here.

I love this post.

Thank you.

February 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKris

I came here via Nichole's Small Moments Spotlight, and I'm leaving here remembering how my son would keep a hand just inside the neckline of my tee shirt. Reassurance.

Thank you.

February 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCDG

Beautiful moments to remember. Thank you for sharing!

February 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Ann

Such perfect, soft but crystal clear images.

Stopping by from Nichole's.

So glad I did.

Yes, this really was beautiful. I am desperate to snap up the moments I share with my daughter before my son is born. I missed so much of her infancy, being wrapped up in being me and being in denial about being a mother.
Thank you for sharing this.

February 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMad Woman behind the Blog

Beautiful! Oh those moments are so precious. Stopping by from Nichole's, too.

February 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlly

Fantastic writing. Always

February 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeighann

That is beautiful...a beautiful image...so many memorable tiny moments. I love this!

February 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal

Also visiting from Nichole's Small Moments Spotlight and so glad that I did. Your words are magical and transported me into your memories and beyond to my own. Thank you.

February 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermummy@bodfortea

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