All four of us flew to Philadelphia for a family milestone event. We caught up with those longest-lasting relationships, created new heartwarming memories with the younger generation and met the newest members of the family.
It was also a weekend of little bigs - those seemingly insignificant moments that have a big impact on my heart.
Little big #1.
For the first time in years, I read a physical newspaper front to back. Even though we still get a newspaper delivered daily (my nine year-old son likes to read box scores), it’s the rare morning I make it past the first section and most days only read a compilation of stories and headlines on a device.
My dad still reads several newspapers on a daily basis. This is one reason I’ve romanticized reading a paper.
I love the feel of a newspaper, the inky remnants on my fingers not so much. And without fail, I end up scratching my nose and with a smudge across my face. The struggle to fold a newspaper (while on an airplane) and prevent it from encroaching on my neighbor’s precious four inches of seat space is a practice in origami yet there was a profound sense of pride that rose up upon completion.
And for once, my eyes didn’t hurt as they normally do after one straight hour of reading on a device. Go figure.
Little big #2
For ten years, New York City was my home. Eight months after I married Alex, we moved west and have been California residents ever since. That was 2003. To this day, a part of me misses the cement jungle every single day. There were millions of reasons I loved living there, one of which was sitting on a stoop, watching the world go by.
This weekend, Daisy and I were waiting for the boys and we copped a squat on a nearby stoop.
Aren’t these just steps, she asked?
Yes, technically, but they’re called stoops in cities.
Situated, she immediately asked for the phone to resume our game of Wordscapes (OMG, why has it taken me this long to discover this game??) and was flat-out denied. Stoop sitting, I explained, is just that - sitting and watching the world saunter by.
Little big #3.
When was the last time you looked at pictures? Not digital images rather decades-old faded and curling photographs with that mildewy scent. While visiting my mother-in-law, she brought out a shoebox overflowing with pictures in a mish mosh of sizes, documenting my husband’s family’s history.
It was a treasure trove of giggles and belly laughs as every fashion style from the past 60 years was represented. And while we couldn’t stop gasping and kept urging the children to come take a look, they were glued to the images on the digital screen across the room.
The irony was not lost.
They’ve rarely seen physical pictures unless they’re in a frame. They love looking at the albums in my childhood home however their primary and first love of picture-looking is on a device. Maybe the subject matter wasn’t interesting, maybe it’s because scrolling is faster and more satisfying - I don’t know. It doesn’t even matter.
The point I’m trying to make is the little things in life, whether from our past or present do matter. Looking at pictures. The distinct smell of aging photograph paper. The residue from reading a newspaper. The accomplishment that comes from reading said newspaper. And watching the world go by while sitting on the stoop.
All these things filled my heart this weekend.
It’s always the little things.
Stacey (+ Sarah)