I remember walking down our stairs early one summer morning to find my boys playing quietly on the couch. Mitch slid down the stairs on his tummy and brought his favorite green and purple blankets with him. Ethan, being the stronger of the two, ran to the basement and lugged a plastic container filled with trucks, “guys”, and a medley of other toys upstairs. Both of my boys, gleefully unaware of their bedheads, began to play.

Mitch watched carefully as his brother showed him a trick from the top of the couch. “Ahhhh!” Ethan said with a descending tone as his truck tumbled down an imaginary cliff. I could see in my youngest son’s countenance that he was learning how to play in new ways, because of his brother’s example.

I sat on the steps quietly and watched these brothers just be themselves. My heart smiled. I always wanted children, and I knew I would love them. But I never knew how deeply I would love them. I simply wasn't prepared.

These were days of peace and serenity. Sometimes, when I grieve, I visit these lovely, ordinary moments in my mind and my heart finds rest. I am reminded that life was so good to me … and still is good to me. Though I carry the weight of grief and sorrow, I also feel gratitude and joy that serves as a counterbalance.

I can’t help but think how quickly these ordinary moments can slip by unnoticed. It is dangerously easy to confuse the ordinary as routine and uninteresting. Nothing is so taken for granted as the ordinary. Yet, when I think back on my earlier days, it is the ordinary that I long for. I don’t seek after the photos of our family standing at the gates of Disneyland or posing at some historical monument. I thirst for images of my ordinary life – for that is the substance of life. 

At least to me, those seemingly ordinary moments are like bricks. They may seem identical in shape, color and substance, but over time, as we lay them brick-by-brick, moment upon moment, they can make something beautiful. 

Though I cannot see with my mortal eyes what our little family has created, brick by brick, moment by moment, I can feel it with my heart. And in moments of grief, when the storms of sorrow beat at my weary soul, I can go inside that place and seek refuge. Those ordinary moments I’m tempted to think are nothing special are in reality, really quite special.