A couple weeks ago, far too early for this bone tired mama clinging to every wisp of never-enough sleep, Hettie let herself into our bedroom. Usually such unscheduled visits involve demands for weird non-breakfast foods, or confessions of early morning incidents requiring immediate parental attention. And bleach.

On this morning, however, Hettie surveyed her supine parents and gently crept toward the bed. Curled on my side, one arm draped over the old rainbow quilt, I pretended to sleep and hoped she'd lose interest in whatever had driven her from bed before the sun. Quietly, diligently, bizarrely, I felt her delicate little fingers poking and smoothing something across my exposed skin. After a few moments, curiosity triumphed over my desire for more sleep. I cracked an eye and saw my determined four-year-old with a pad of Post-it flags, adorning my arm with bright blue banners, like noble pennon littering a tiny battlefield.

Groggy and bemused by the unusual predawn art project, I spoke. "What are you doing? Where did you find those?"

Matter-of-factly, she explained, "Aunt Liberty gave them to me. You put them on things to remind you they're important. I already got Phin and Willa." Smiling, she clambered across the bed to tag her father.
This was one of those rare moments when I realized, in the moment, how sweet that moment really was. I took a picture.
I spend a lot of days feeling silly at how overwhelming the sock-pairing and dish washing and peanut butter sandwich crust-trimming can seem over here. But on mornings like that, or nights like this, I can't help but be grateful for my Important Stuff: the sweet perfection of my children, the love of my husband, the innumerable bounty of peace and health and freedom which silently marks our days. Life is full of unexpected blessings, and unexpected tragedies. My resolution on this sad day is to bask in the expected things, treasure the everyday, let my Important Stuff know more often how important they are, and reflect more radiantly and universally the daily warming glow of Transcendent Love.