“It smells like a narwhal in here,” my 3 year old informed us on the harried drive to karate-then-dance.
After a short laugh and a timid breath in, I had to admit the car air did smell a bit funky, though how she narrowed it down to the (unlikely) source of the aquatic version of a unicorn was both beyond me and, frankly, hilarious. I explained to my 8, 7 and nearly 6 year old what a narwhal was, sprayed some Princess perfume we have on hand for just such an unfragrant occasion, and we all had a good laugh. It definitely dissolved some of the tension of our HURRY UP DO YOUR HOMEWORK GET IN THE TUB SHOES ON THE OTHER FEET EAT YOUR FROZEN PIZZA GET IN KARATE AND DANCE CLOTHES GET IN THE CAR YOU BETTER HAVE ALREADY USED THE BATHROOM OR SO HELP ME sprint.
I wonder when and how this moment will visit me again over the years. The mention of a narwhal in casual conversation with a stranger causing me to laugh inappropriately at some Save the Whales gala? Visiting an aquarium somewhere, some day? A Thanksgiving with grandchildren many years from now when my daughter will frankly recall the incident and take us all back to that frozen moment in time when we were hurrying from one place to another and instead of smelling the rich turkey/stuffing/fixings we will recall the exact scent of the elusive “narwhal” followed quickly by a few spritzes of princess perfume?
So many moments like this enrich our lives in so many ways, in fact these are the fibers that really make the tapestry rich and beautiful and original. More than dollars in a bank account or possessions that collect dust on shelves or even photographs that can fade…just living, really living. Laughing and loving and finding moments that you just fit together with your loved ones, living the beauty that is the world all around you. Taking the time to notice the leaves subtly changing their hues in the Fall or the sun making its brilliant neon decent or the moon still glowing as you race by on your way to school or extracurriculars with your kids, maybe have the window down for a quick breath of the crisp air. Seeing your daughter’s karate form improve so much that she will test for her next belt within one month of beginning. Your two daughters that take dance teaching their jazz moves to their sisters and coordinating a show (with music, costumes and proper theatrics, of course.) Your 3 year old accounting her views on spooky pumpkins with white blankets that are adorning the porches your pass on your way to pick up or drop off or run errands. Every moment, a memory, a gift, a brilliant and rich fiber that makes up the family that you made.
And like the smell of the narwhal, unforgettable.