Last night, I found to a good stopping point in Alex Bell's The Ocean Squid Explorer's Club (This is the fourth book in her extraordinarily fun series. Start here if you are looking for an exciting but not terrifying fantasy for your small humans... or yourself). It's not that easy to find a place to stop reading Alex Bell's books - sometimes, it's the kid demanding a few more pages. Sometimes I sit there and read to myself after she's fallen asleep because, you know, they're good books. But, last night, I found a nice moment in which our heroes were not in immediate danger and closed the book. I turned out the light. I got my six-year-old and an improbable number of stuffed animals settled. Then, as I do every night, I sang. I started with Simple Gifts. Then I moved on to Amazing Grace. After the first few lines, my six-year-old started to sing along. We lay there in the dark, under the stars projected on her ceiling from an aged-stuffed turtle, and sang together.
It isn't the first time this has happened. I hope it won't be the last. But this time, I really noticed it. I felt the moment with every cell of my body. The dark and the slightly out-of-tune child voice twined around my own. The hard head, rubbing tangled kid hair against my shoulder. The little foot wiggling inquisitive toes against my shin. It wasn't a perfect moment - I was tired and thirsty, and it was later than it should have been. But it was a small pleasure. Forty seconds that transformed a long, vaguely annoying day into a Good Day in my memory.