I took so many mental snapshots today. The pull to run off and grab my camera was real. I stayed in the moment and saw this...
Around 11:30 this morning, there was a red picnic blanket spread out in my backyard under my black maple tree, green grass sprawling beyond the blanket's reach. A cornucopia of lunch was spread out in the centre of the blanket... Chips, salsa, sour cream, salmon, crackers, cucumbers, peanuts, and of course some napkins to mop up the inevitable mess. A couple lunch bags had been placed down as well, for the young cousins who were joining us today. Gathered around the perimeter of the picnic blanket were five smiley, sweaty kids, hungry from a morning of playing together, connected by genetics, but bound by their obvious love for each other. Older kids helped younger kids open juice boxes and younger kids gabbed away about their morning together, punctuating the tales with unbridled giggles.
Bellies and hearts were filled. It was picture-perfect.
This evening, after a raucous dinner, our family of five headed out to the ball diamond behind our house. I stayed behind to wipe up the counter while the kids and Dad got the ball gear out. When I peeked my head out of the gate, I saw two brothers, one wearing the baseball mitt he got for his birthday last year, the other beaming with joy that he finally got to try out his brand new mitt, the one Dad just got him a week ago. The two brothers were throwing the ball back and forth. The older one caught it nine times out of ten, the younger one leapt for it but missed often. About 15 paces beside them were dad and daughter, also throwing the ball back and forth. The girl took a step and threw the ball. It arced beautifully in the sky and landed in Dad's glove. He threw it back. She took a protective (albeit unnecessary) step back as it bounced where she stood two seconds earlier. I walked over to join in on the fun and caught several fly balls off Dad's bat.
The fun of sport and family togetherness was exhilarating. It, too, was picture-perfect.
Blogs look so much nicer with colourful pictures to draw you in. I was greedy and kept the pictures to myself today, savouring the moments instead of running off to grab the camera. I don't, most days. But then, the memories just aren't as meaningful because I wasn't in them.
Here's to being in the memories a little more these days.