Appreciating a moment

I posted this on my personal blog a few weeks ago. Figured I’d post it here (with some edits) while I struggle to find motivation to write a new post here:

Mama had gone out with her girlfriends that Friday night. All of you were already in bed, so I was taking advantage of the quiet to tackle the laundry and to straighten up the house, going through the myriad unnecessary-but-nice-to-have-done tasks that accumulate underfoot. (What does it say about me that I enjoy those types of evenings?) As I was passing by the kitchen I saw some flashes of light in the darkness outside. I went out onto the deck, thinking that a thunderstorm was coming. Which would have been wonderful enough, but instead I saw something that I had never seen before in my life. Our deck backs up against a dark tree line and against the velvety blackness I saw THOUSANDS of fireflies alight. It was an explosion of light, the insects communicating at a frenzied rate. It was awe-inspiring.  I’ve seen fireflies at night, but my experience is sitting around and waiting for them to ignite, a few here or there. Here was a lightning bug orgy.

I sat there amazed and the overwhelming urge to share this with someone came over me. It was late – close to 10 pm – but I snuck upstairs and opened your door. You were only lightly asleep – uncharacteristic for you, you tend to sleep like the dead- and you opened up your eyes to meet mine, curious.   “Want to see something cool?” I whispered. You nodded and I held out my hand, which you took as I led you downstairs. We went out onto the deck and I asked, “Do you see it?” You squinted into the darkness and said, “Daddy, I need my glasses.” So you ran up and came back down and this time when you slid the door open and saw what was there you let out a loud “COOOL!”  We sat on our deck for a time, listening to the silence and just drinking it in. I told you I’d never seen anything like this, while you shared you had actually never seen a firefly in person before, only in books. After some time I felt the responsible adult kick back in, so I guided you back to bed. You went back up without much resistance, but as I placed the covers over you you said, “Thank you daddy for sharing that with me.”

These are the types of memories that I hope to consider in my dying moments, and remind myself that I had a life worth living.