I was driving the car, taking my kids to play with their out-of-town cousins for the morning. My almost thirteen-year-old son says out of the blue, “Mom, I am not sure what I am feeling. It is more than happy.” I was stunned. Did I need my ears checked? You mean all that emotional education I try to cram down my kids might actually be paying off? And in my oh-so-often challenging preteen boy? After pulling myself together while trying to not look overly thrilled, I say to myself … Ok. Grab the moment , try to act normal (which my kids will tell you is very hard for me!) and go with it. “Is it joy?” I ask him. He says, “no.” I rack my brain for all the feeling words I am supposed to know and I try again … “Is it elated?” “Yes, Mom, that is what it is.” And then silence. No more needed to be said. It would have only ruined the moment. The only thing left to do was to relish in whatever powerful thing that just transpired. That before the exchange of the necessary holiday gifts of plastic trinkets and the latest electronic gadgets, my son could use his words to tell me how he felt as he experienced connection. How he felt wrapped in the loving web of family.
Moments such as these – the ones that interrupt life – the ones that stop us in our tracks – cannot be planned for. They will not occur when and where we think they will. We can only hope we are aware enough, emotionally awake enough, to actually notice them when they present themselves.