The other day I was in the kitchen preparing dinner while a Kindermusik CD played in the background. As Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour (often referred to as the Barcarolle) by Jacques Offenbach began, my daughter hopped down from her stool and started dancing in the large open space next to our kitchen table. I stopped cutting lettuce, leaned my forearms onto the counter and silently watched her. Her body was graceful, her feet and legs moving purposefully in a slow-motion prance through an invisible field. She raised her arms high over head then lowered them with cupped hands as if releasing a bird into flight. Her face was relaxed, and her eyes alight with a captivating and lovely vision. I was transfixed. She was an angel, a goddess, a fairy, some being of pure joy and undeniable beauty. Tears streamed down my cheeks and I opened my mouth to breathe deeply so I wouldn’t interrupt her with sobbing. I felt overwhelming gratitude for the gift of her presence and being and also a deep reverence for this spirit I was witnessing.

We often get so consumed by our “to do” lists, parental responsibilities, legitimate life concerns, and daydreams that we miss the chances to really see our daughters and sons (and our spouses and other beloveds, by the way). When those little moments pass by, it’s easy to forget how precious and irreplaceable our children are. When we forget these truths, we lose a bit of the present that is the only real time we have with our children.

We are human and we won’t always remember to revere our children or take the time to pause and revel in their presence in our lives. My wish is that my words will help you take advantage of one more opportunity to simply stop, breathe, observe, and savor the human being called your child.


With You Now
by Shonnie Lavender

You are here now.
I am here now.
Nothing else is guaranteed.

I will stop for one breath.
I will pause in quiet observation.
Your presence will be my reward.

My responsibilities can be set aside.
My fears, dreams, and mental wandering will wait for me.
Right now I allow your being to fill my entire world.

I know I will dart past many of these opportunities.
I know I will one day not even be present to bear witness.
I vow that right now will be different.

Sometimes I look for what I wish I saw.
Sometimes what I see causes me to retreat to the past or rush for the future.
This time I am still, silent, here, watching.
This time I am in awe of you and grateful to be right here now.

~ ~ ~ ~

One moment in time

One moment in time


Remind others of the preciousness of their children right now. Please use the links below to share.