The movie was playing in front of me, but my eyes weren’t anywhere near the screen. I was taking a sidelong glance at the little feet beside me on the couch. They were covered in fuzzy, red footie pajamas.
Those red feet caught me by surprise and I had to suppress a smile, a chuckle.
The owner was entirely engrossed in the movie in front of her and unaware that her feet were distracting me from, well, everything. I had at least 17 other things I could have been doing but I didn’t want to be anywhere but where I was.
The owner sat sprawled out next to me on my couch and the legs were comfortably crossed at the feet. The juxtaposition of the little legs and the tiny feet with the adult-like position somehow tickled my funny bone. I took a mental snapshot.
I looked at her and I knew that in that moment she was entirely comfortable. Not just cozy, let’s-watch-a-movie comfortable. But she was comfortable as her own self, in her body. She was just… being herself. And there I was witnessing that miracle of childhood. And with that, my to-do list flew out the window. Who needed it? Not me. Life is short. I chose to make time for the person who was in those footie pajamas.
If being a part-time caretaker of someone with dementia as well as someone who has small humans in her life has taught me anything, it is that moments are everything.
And by everything, I mean: everything.
I may meditate regularly and have a mindfulness practice, but nothing prepares me more for a life of living in the moment than being with those who have a different sense of time than the rest of us do. “Now” is often all that there is and it passes just as quickly as it comes.
Looking at those little feet next to me and then back up to the screen, it settled over me how full circle life really can be. I’d bought a movie for my relative with dementia. We were watching “Mary Poppins.” I thought the simple storyline, human actors, and songs would all appeal to the capacity and temperament of someone with dementia.
It was a hit! She thoroughly enjoyed it and didn’t remember the story at all, whether that’s because she’d never seen it or because of dementia, that’s impossible to say. But the movie was an enjoyable moment for us.
Not only did the little one in my life enjoy the silliness of “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” but so did every other person in the room. The moment was one of joy for everyone, old and young alike.
Finding moments like these to share amongst ourselves, old and young, chronically ill or healthy as a horse, are the moments we’re meant to live for. We’re meant to chase the wonder.
I’ve promised myself to undertake the exercise of honoring the child inside myself and inside those I know and love more often. Last weekend it was via a movie with a tea party on the ceiling. I’m leaving my options open for next time, but I’m going to welcome it with open arms and (once again) throw that to-do list out the window, even if for a few short and precious hours. Life is too short not to live it.