Today I had one of those moments of elation that take me by surprise. After yesterday’s miserable heat wave, I decided that today we would get out of the house and play somewhere indoors. We went to this place called Hop-n-Play, an indoor playland inside of a mall. After paying our $10 to get in, Maysen took off her shoes and flew away from me in a whirling dervish of excitement. All kinds of brightly colored and padding-covered things to climb on beckoned, but it was the balloon pit that caught her eye immediately.
Basically, it was a little caged in room, maybe four feet floor-to-ceiling, with fans blowing a whole bunch of oversized balloons around chaotically. Maysen hopped right in, screaming, giggling, squealing. She had never seen anything like this, and for that matter, neither had I. She ran around in circles and chased the balloons, and at one point yelled gleefully, “This is SOOOOO fun!!!” Seeing her utterly lost in a moment of pure joy just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
She played and played, bouncing from the balloon room to the jumpy castle to the slide to the swingy tree thing and back to the balloon room again. She was so caught up in the fun that she never even looked to see if I was there. When I called to her to try to take her picture, she came to me and wanted me to come in with her, but when I told her it was just for the kiddos, she ran away screaming for more.
As I sat on a bench watching her from a distance, I just revelled in the purity of her unfettered enjoyment of these balloons. I even paused to marvel at it myself when that 50s song “This Magic Moment” came on the radio. How fitting. I tried to capture the moment on my camera, but of course Maysen ignored my pleas to look at me and smile.
Then, “You Are My Sunshine” came on right as Maysen was running from one activity to the next. She stopped in her tracks with a look of surprised recognition and screamed, “Mommy’s song! That’s Mommy’s song!” She clapped and searched the room until she found me. I waved to her and her face lit up. She ran to me, yelling, “It’s Mommy’s song! Mommy’s song!” And she jumped up onto my lap, put her head on my chest, and gave me the world’s biggest and most delicious hug. She looked up into my eyes, and I thought, who is this beautiful blue-eyed, curly-haired creature in my arms, and what happened to my tiny little baby?
And then she ran away.
I sat there for a moment, astounded, and as I listened to the rest of the song, I felt so, so happy. The baby moved around in my tummy, and tears came to my eyes. I though to myself, this really IS a magic moment.
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